Singapore Coffee Festival 2017 is not just about enjoying the coffee, food and entertainment on offer; you can also do some good by supporting the causes of social enterprises.
Several of them from across Asia will be showcasing a range of organic coffee, sustainably sourced chocolate, healthy snacks and all-natural skincare products at The Good Market - one of the highlights of the DBS lounge at the festival, called The Social Ground by DBS.
Some of these social enterprises will be conducting free workshops at the lounge, such as healthy snack making, coffee brewing and wooden stamp carving.
DBS Bank is the presenter of the Singapore Coffee Festival, which is organised by The Straits Times. It runs from Aug 3 to 6 at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, and, aside from the 70 food and beverage vendors, there will be talks, workshops, live entertainment and fireworks to keep festival-goers entertained.
The home-grown social enterprises taking part in The Good Market are Bettr Barista Singapore, which empowers disadvantaged women and youth by equipping them with life and vocational skills, such as training to be baristas; BoxGreen, a local snack-box delivery service that donates a portion of its sales to soup kitchen Willing Hearts, which distributes over 5,000 meals a day to the needy; Garcons, which employs former offenders at its restaurants; and Farm To Beauty, which uses organically grown plants and herbs tended to by Edible Garden City, a social enterprise that promotes sustainable urban farming.
Natural personal care and food company Human Nature trains farmers in the Philippines to improve their output, which they offer above-market prices for, and also provides employment to local communities.
Aurora from Taiwan works with Taiwanese aboriginal villagers in the towns of Alishan, Xinyi and Reni to produce and sell organic agricultural produce, including coffee and tea.
SINGAPORE COFFEE FESTIVAL
WHERE: Marina Bay Cruise Centre, 61 Marina Coastal Drive
WHEN: Aug 3 (for trade and media only, register at www.sgcoffeefestival.com); two sessions daily from Aug 4 to 6, 10am to 3.30pm and 4.30pm to 10pm
ADMISSION: $22, $18 (DBS and POSB cardholders, ST subscribers)
INFO: Go to www.sgcoffee festival.com
Krakakoa is an artisanal bean-to- bar chocolate company that uses cacao beans organically grown and sustainably sourced from smallholder farmers in Indonesia.
East Bali Cashews sources its nuts directly from farmers and also provides villagers of the Desa Ban community in Indonesia with an additional source of income.
Since its inception in 2014, the DBS Foundation has supported over 600 social enterprises across Asia through mentoring, incubation programmes and funding.
To increase public awareness of social enterprise, the foundation started Asia For Good, a digital lifestyle platform that offers tips on socially conscious living.
To further drive home the message about socially conscious living, DBS will launch the Live Kind passport at the festival.
Festival-goers can register for it online at www.asiaforgood.com/coffee and complete four fun and easy socially conscious tasks at the event, such as upcycling their used coffee cups, to redeem rewards such as free coffee and an eco- friendly reusable coffee tumbler.
They are also encouraged to recycle their empty plastic bottles at a recycling machine at the DBS lounge in exchange for rewards such as healthy snacks from BoxGreen.
Ms Karen Ngui, DBS' managing director and head of group strategic marketing and communications, said: "We hope that through these initiatives, there will be an increased awareness that socially conscious living is easy and rewarding.
"Consumers can still do the things that they already like to do, like shop and eat, but with social enterprises - companies that create positive impact."