Ethical consumption is becoming an increasingly important consideration for people everywhere, but going ethical can seem like an impossible mountain to climb. The ‘Fair Trade’ label has now earned a permanent spot on supermarket shelves, and research by Ethical Consumer has shown that nine out of 10 tea brands carry some kind of ethical accreditation. But what about soft drinks, are there many ethical options available? Carrie investigates for Club Soda.
This week, we tried Berraquera, an ethically sourced drink that uses fruit purees derived from the Colombian Andes. We instigated an office-wide taste-test of this Colombian specialty fruit juice, and the results were largely positive.
Lulo fruit juice tastes like gooseberry or kiwi or passion fruit; a bit like all of these, but not quite like any of them! It isn’t too sweet, and is thick like a smoothie. One taster described it as ‘invigorating and quite fresh’, so best to serve chilled or with a tonic water.
Colombia is one of the planet’s 17 megadiverse countries, with over 70 species of exotic fruit. Berraquerra, meaning persistence in the face of adversity, imports the Mora berry from farmer co-operatives in a region directly affected by the (drug-financed) conflict.
The company behind Berraquera, Fruto del Espiritu, is a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) and social enterprise. Profits are committed to generating more income for smallholder farmers – and a contribution was recently sent through Asolideragro for the Month of the Farmer. Profits are committed to generating more income for smallholder farmers – and a contribution was recently sent through Asolideragro for the Month of the Farmer.
Being an ethically minded drinker doesn’t have to be difficult or bland if you know where to look. Choosing Berraquera means you will get an exotic and adaptable drink, all with the knowledge you are actually helping people secure for themselves better lives. And it tastes pretty great too!
At the moment, these drinks are not very widely available (though a few select shops and restaurants do stock them), but the 75cl Taste of the Andes range are sold direct through the FdE community site; and the 25cl Lulo & Apple drink has been launched commercially under the Berraquera brand for hotels, restaurants and cafés, available from www.berraquera.co.uk