What if soft drinks were better for you, and for the world? That’s what Paul Bethke wondered after quitting his day job in winter 2008 – after working in development aid in Sri Lanka for the German government – with the idea of starting a social enterprise as a more direct and efficient means of supporting the small farming communities in developing countries. He founded his business, Lemonaid and ChariTea, 2009.
Setting up a kitchen in Hamburg, where limes were juices, sugar was crushed, tea was brewed, and the brand’s range of soft drinks was developed. They quickly outgrew themselves, and in summer 2009 invited a small organic company in the south of Germany to take over the role of filling the bottles and impart their expertise on the flavours. Soft drinks made with the best Fairtrade ingredients, all organically grown and straight from certified small farming cooperatives. A thirst-quenching revolution was born.
By working directly with these cooperatives, paying them fair prices and a Fairtrade premium, they make a sustainable, reliable income and are no longer subject to the powers and fluctuations of world market prices for commodities. It was to create this impact that he founded the Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation which has been receiving a fixed donation from every bottle sold (from the very first bottle on) with now over £1m raised for social projects in the farming communities. The money is put towards a variety of international aid projects, including healthcare, education and infrastructure projects, as widespread as Mexico, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Now the range of seven drinks – three sustainable fruit-based, lightly sparkling juice drinks and a range of ecological ice teas – is becoming more and more available. Made with organic cane sugar (but about 50% less than your usual cola), Lemonaid comes in passion fruit, blood orange or lemon varieties, while the range of freshly brewed loose leaf tea is refined with fruit juices and natural sweeteners. The mate variety – with its natural caffeine content that gives a boost without the sickly effect of more common energy drinks – has already one a Great Taste Award.
What really caught our attention, and what you will be able to experience when you try the brand’s products at our Euroshop stand, is that with a little touch of your favourite spirit, they make the perfect cocktail. The fruity refreshingness is a winner, but mix with vodka, rum or gin, and you won’t look back. Lemojito, anyone?
Looking to expand their ranges and, ultimately, the good they can do in the world with the donations each bottle makes to the foundation, the brand recently launched a range of 15 loose teas in Germany, all organic & Fairtrade, which will be launched in the UK soon where the drinks are already sold in the likes of Selfridges and Whole Foods.
Stop by our stand at Euroshop 2017 to taste what Lemonaid and ChariTea has to offer, or contact the brand to learn more about what they do and how you can order your own.