“What is my cup of tea or coffee actually worth?”

In early March workers at the London Underwriting Centre were posed with an alternative City trading question – the actual worth of their tea or coffee. Ethical Trading Day was implemented by leading drinks vending provider Seymour Valentine and supported by Mars Drinks.

Two thousand employees based at the LUC were greeted by a team from Seymour Valentine – providers of bespoke vending machines – serving a range of fresh great tasting tea and Rainforest Alliance coffee from a FLAVIA drinks vending system. Anything from pens to CDs, books to good quality second-hand clothes could be exchanged – however the Seymour Valentine vending attendant had the final say if items proffered are an equal ‘ethical trade’. And as a thank you, the first 700 customers received a complimentary 100g bar of Seeds of Change® chocolate from Mars.

Oxfam were the designated charity to receive all traded items at the end of the day and were delighted to be part of Ethical Trading Day; the charity is currently focusing on global climate change and saving world resources.

Daniel Vennard, corporate affairs and sustainability director at Mars Drinks added: “This was an exciting event – raising awareness of what ethical trading actually means on a practical level. As part of our ‘Thirsty for Change’ programme, we’re committed to supporting sustainable farming and ethical trade. By offering Rainforest Alliance certified coffee to employees at the LUC in exchange for possessions rather than money, we believe they will appreciate more what ethical trade actually means on an individual basis.”

Cevat Riza, MD of Seymour Valentine said: “Ethical Trading is a subject close to Seymour Valentine’s heart and the London Underwriting Centre initiative was set up by us to encourage City workforces to think about what ethical trading is all about. We were delighted to have the support of Mars Drinks brand FLAVIA® and encouraged all LUC workers to visit us in the lower ground coffee shop on Thursday 5th March pm for the most serious trading moment of their careers to date.”