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FAQ

Please see below answers to some questions that people often ask about Redemption

We are a specialty coffee company that believes that we can reduce reoffending in the UK through coffee.

At our roastery at HMP The Mount, we train residents in barista, coffee production, and roasting skills as well as roasting incredible coffee for our London coffee shops and our network of over 100 wholesale clients. We also run barista academies at 9 other prisons.

The UK’s re-offending rates are amongst the highest in the western world, and it’s costly on both a national and personal level. 46% of prisoners in England and Wales go on to commit another crime within one year of being released. Reoffending costs the Treasury an estimated £4.5 billion every year (£131,000 for every re-offender). Only 36% of prisoners manage to find work within two years of being released. If prisoners do find employment, they are 50% less likely to return to prison.

There is always a job for a good barista or roaster. That’s why we are doing this.

We want to show the coffee community and the world that a positive commercial environment can be created behind bars and that exceptional specialty coffee can come from places and people you wouldn’t expect.

No. Roasting coffee in a prison is expensive. The additional costs associated with more complex logistics, increased staff, education provision and management time means our roastery costs per kg of coffee roasted are higher than for comparable companies operating outside a prison. We do not achieve greater economic efficiencies through our prison-based facility; that’s not our aim. Instead, we recognise that the value for our business is in the unique story of social good behind our product and brand loyalty that it creates with customers.

Our business is successful because our customers and clients buy into our ethos, not because we have no costs.

Absolutely not, and yes.

Work initiatives in prison, generally speaking, are not as good as they need to be. Common examples of work done by prisoners in the UK are: sorting recycling or waste, mail-related manual tasks and call handling. There are some examples of educational work initiatives, especially in the building trade, but much more needs to be done.

Mundane work neither teaches hard skills, nor does it foster enthusiasm for work. Our training does both. We are teaching real skills to our learners that they can immediately make use of upon their release, equipping them for an industry always on the lookout for staff.

Moreover, we provide direct employment opportunities for ex-offenders on release. You can read more about our outcomes in our most recent Social Impact Report.

All prisoners are all paid for work undertaken during their sentence pursuant to The Prisoners’ Earnings Act 1996 which you can read here. We as a company do not have any influence on the amount any individual apprentice is paid, neither are we allowed to pay them directly. We see our value in the opportunities we provide for education and employment post-release.

We pay a fee to HMP The Mount in order to operate there. Part of this contributes to residents’ pay.

When we employ any ex-offender on the outside, they are paid on exactly the same scale as other employees.

Yes. Tasting and appreciation (through drinking!) is a central part of our apprentices’ training. We also run a small coffee shop for the prison community.

As you would expect, we source coffee from multiple origins and farms across the world to find the best lots available.

We are able to source through direct trade, importers or collaborative importer partnerships. Whichever method we use, we have direct knowledge of the farms our coffees come from. All of them adhere to, and give warranties on, the strictest ethical principles.

No, we are a commercial private company.

That said, our business is run on ‘profit for purpose’ principles; we do not consider commercial motivation to be contradictory to our social commitment. We do carry out several charitable activities: we employ a full-time graduate mentor and operate a hardship fund to assist our Graduates with emergency situations and skill top-ups. We are considering incorporating a charitable entity to ring fence these activities. We are a social enterprise and a member of Social Enterprise UK (SEUK).

If you are a home buyer, looking for small quantities, go to our webstore.

If you are a potential wholesale client please fill out an enquiry form to discuss how we can work together.

Several things: visit our coffee shops for coffee, brunch etc., buy our coffee for use at home or wholesale and follow us on Instagram to show your support. If you are a donor and looking to make a donation to our charitable causes, please email contact@redemptionroasters.com.

Alternatively, just tell people about us!

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