Whitbread – link to home page
Close

Media

Press releases 2017

25 Oct 2017

Costa Foundation expands into 10th country, in 10th anniversary year

The Costa Foundation has announced the development of a new school project in Zambia. The country will be the 10th to benefit from investment, as the Costa Foundation enters its 10th year since its launch in 2007.

The news comes as part of an ambitious expansion programme set out by the Costa Foundation. The charity will aim to raise £20m and complete their 100th school by 2021, building on the nearly 30,000 school places which have been created by the Costa Foundation to date.

The first phase of the Kasama school in Zambia will open early next year accepting 200 children. Collaborating with a group of donors, the school will boast classrooms, science and IT labs, a kitchen and boarding facilities, and run off renewable energy. It will grow year on year and aim to accommodate up to 1000 pupils.

Kasama in the Northern Province was chosen by the Costa Foundation’s implementing partner PEAS, Promoting Equality in African Schools. Secondary school enrolment is low in the province, the area is under resourced and the quality of education is poor. There are only 10 secondary schools for 15,000 secondary school pupils in Kasama, leading to a sharp drop in enrolment between the end of primary and entry to secondary school. The school will support children in the surrounding area to access secondary school, and is also supporting the local community by providing job opportunities during construction and once the school is open.

The Costa Foundation’s mission is to improve the life chances of boys and girls in coffee growing communities by providing them with access to a safe, quality education. Since its launch in 2007 it has supported 75 school projects across nine countries – building or extending school buildings and providing essential facilities and equipment, including connecting water supplies, and supplying computers.

In Ethiopia, where the Foundation has built 17 schools and invested in several other school projects, the Foundation’s work is having a clear impact. 300 students from Costa Foundation schools have moved onto higher education, and extra curricular clubs and health education has helped kickstart a substantial drop in the HIV rate in some communities.

Ayana Ware studied at one of the very first Costa Foundation schools in rural Ehtiopia. After going on to complete a degree in civic education, he has returned to teach in his home town and said:

“If Dimtu high school [local Costa Foundation school] hadn’t been built, my chance would have been blocked and I would remain home as a traditional farmer. It served as a bridge to achieve my ambition. In 2016 I’ve graduated with a degree, and returning to my high school as a teacher makes me feel great and special.

The more you help to educate people the less poor they will be. Thank you very much.”

Sandy Gourlay, Charity & Community Manager, Costa Coffee, said:

“The Costa Foundation set out to help those people in the wider coffee community who do not have access to a decent education. In just 10 years it has achieved remarkable successes, directly impacting thousands of lives for the better.

Costa aim to make a meaningful contribution to the communities we serve and we are committed to supporting the Costa Foundation deliver on its mission to improve the life chances of boys and girls in coffee farming communities by providing the opportunity for a safe, quality education. The entire Costa team are incredibly excited to support the Costa Foundation in Zambia, and with the ambition to bring this model of school investment to as many people as possible.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Costa Foundation currently funds school projects in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Nicaragua, Vietnam and Uganda. For further information about the Costa Foundation or to read more case studies, please visit www.costafoundation.com.
  2. Costa raises funds through a range of channels including merchandise and confectionary sales, and a variety of in store team member fundraising initiatives. Last year, employees in the UK alone raised £453,000 to support the Foundation’s work.

About Costa

Founded in London by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971, our quality coffee was the premium choice for boutique hotels and restaurants across the city. Today we continue to roast the original Mocha Italia recipe with our 100% Rainforest Alliance certified coffee remaining at the core of our quality coffee credentials.

With over 2,000 coffee shops in the UK and more than 1,240 in 30 overseas markets, we are the fastest growing coffee shop business in the UK. We’re proud to be the UK’s favourite coffee shop, having been awarded “Best Branded Coffee Shop Chain in the UK and Ireland" by Allegra Strategies for seven years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016).

Our people are the heart of our business and we employ over 30,000 people worldwide, with a target of 5,000 new jobs in the UK by 2020. Last year, we increased Barista pay by c.10%. Our Pay for progression model was introduced in October 2015, and our training rate of £7.20 was launched well ahead of National Living Wage.

As a popular, mainstream food and beverage brand, we can make a positive contribution towards customer health and wellbeing by investing in safe sourcing, new product development and consumer education. Health and wellbeing remains a strategic business focus area and we will continue to evolve our product offer over the coming years. We are working to reduce added sugar in our drinks by 25% by 2020 and will reduce salt in our sandwich range by a further 5% by 2017.

We care about the communities we operate in with our store teams volunteering over 10,000 hours of their time to lend support to over 900 local community projects.

Looking after coffee growers is extremely important to us, which is why we established The Costa Foundation, a registered charity with the aim to relieve poverty, advance education and the health and environment of coffee-growing communities around the world. So far, The Costa Foundation has funded the building of 75 schools and school projects and improved the social and economic welfare of coffee-growing communities.

Costa is also committed to tackling the UK’s literacy challenge and is proud to have signed the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge 2016. In continuation of this commitment, and inspired by the Costa Book Awards and the ongoing work of the Costa Foundation, Costa launched its inaugural Reading Week in September 2016 in conjunction with over 500 schools across the UK.

www.costa.co.uk