Cafédirect named UK Social Enterprise of the Year

The coffee firm scooped two prizes at last night’s Social Enterprise Awards while Madlug walked away with the Big Issue-backed Consumer Facing Social Enterprise gong

Cafédirect were the big winners at last night’s UK Social Enterprise Awards – scooping two prizes.

The socially-conscious coffee firm, whose products are available in The Big Issue Shop, came out on top in the glitzy ceremony’s main prize to be named UK Social Enterprise of the Year.

The Fairtrade coffee company invest half of their profits, handing over £6 million so far, into farming communities abroad through their farmer-led charity Producers Direct and impressed judges with their re-branding and increased performance in 2018.

That overseas mission also saw Cafédirect walk away with the International Impact award, acknowledging the skills support and financial loans that are provided to 40 producer organisations in 14 countries across Latin America, Asia and Africa.


In total, more than 92,000 people have sold The Big Issue since 1991 to help themselves work their way out of poverty – more than could fit into Wembley Stadium.

The only award that went to a public vote was the Consumer Facing Social Enterprise gong which saw Madlug come out on top in The Big Issue-hosted poll.

The social enterprise takes a ‘Buy one, give one’ approach to its luggage with a bag given to a child in care for every one sold, affording the children “the dignity of not carrying their life around in a bin bag”.

Madlug earned more than 7,000 votes on The Big Issue website to take the prize.

Other winners included Caledonia Cremation – a Scottish funeral directors that tackle poverty by shedding the high price tag of burials – who were named One To Watch while Baby Lifeline Training, The Growth Company and Community Shop were also honoured.

Organisers Social Enterprise UK also revealed at the annual bash that the number of social enterprises in Britain has jumped to 100,000 from 70,000 last year.

The number of people employed in the sector has also shot up to two million people, contributing contributes £60 billion to the UK economy.

Image: Cafédirect