This year Trading remains a central pillar of Twin’s strategy. We continue to meet our coffee targets, and are developing a new cocoa trading offer in partnership with Divine. Although trading is increasingly competitive, we stand by it as the key to long-term, meaningful change for producers. Twin’s unique offer of delivering impact within real commodity markets makes us stand out from the crowd.
It is encouraging to report a significant increase in producer organisations and smallholders impacted by Twin. At the beginning of 2016, we started a two-year programme with TradeMark East Africa investing in quality, certification and market access with 20 coffee cooperatives in Burundi and Rwanda. This exciting new partnership represents an opportunity to expand Twin’s already significant presence in East Africa.
We’ve also made considerable progress mobilising private finance for development, extending our value chain partnership with M&S cafes to encompass M&S retail. The bean to cup partnership includes roasters Matthew Algie and Taylors of Harrogate and is helping producers in Peru adapt to climate change. We have also entered a third year of our partnership with Pret A Manger supporting the next generation of coffee farmers.
Finally, we have continued to invest in team Twin. We opened an office in Kigali in Rwanda and now have five people in our African hub. In London, we built a new coffee cupping lab to ensure excellent quality control over coffee contracts. We also provide feedback to producers, so that they can improve quality, grow sales, and enter speciality markets.