A Bristol coffee roaster is to pay three Nicaraguan students through college as an alternative to buying Fairtrade coffee.

Adrian Wogan, from Brian Wogan Coffee, said the £4,500 a year for the students at La Bastilla Coffee Plantation would benefit families of coffee-growers directly.

The students are studying business, hotel administration and agronomy at La Bastilla Technical College in the Nicaraguan highlands of Jinotega.

The initiative is in partnership with City of Bristol College.

"I am really pleased that City of Bristol College has come on board with this initiative," Wogan said. "It is great to give something back to the community both here in Bristol and in Jinotega."

Hundreds of tonnes of coffee are destroyed every year to keep market prices artificially high. Competition from outside the EU is also restricted.

Adrian Kirikmaa, restaurant manager at City of Bristol College, said: "The initiative is an alternative to buying Fairtrade coffee, with 100% of the money going straight to the students' education."

The Nicaraguan students will be buddied with a City of Bristol College student to share letters and picture, and the students from the respective colleges may meet each other during the year.

"This project allows our students to get a better understanding of where the coffee they serve originates from, as well as allowing the Nicaraguan students to gain a better understanding of the final destination of the fruits of their labour," Kirikmaa said.

By Andy Morton

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