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Press Release: Enterprising Stonehaven Pupils Put Coffee on the Menu

Pupils at an Aberdeenshire school have been learning how to make the perfect cup of coffee thanks to Aberdeen-based Caber Coffee. 

As part of Mackie Academy's Home Economics hospitality course, Findlay Leask and the Caber Coffee team offered Barista training to S5 pupils who will use their skills to staff a coffee shop within the school. 

The pupils purchased a coffee machine from Caber and will be selling the company's ETHYCO products, an ingredient range that takes the benefits of Fairtrade to a new level. As well as supporting communities where the product is grown, a percentage of the revenue generated by sales is re-invested in UK-based Social Enterprise projects. In addition Caber Coffee has provided point-of-sale materials in a bid to provide a real, coffee house environment within the school. 

The course has been designed to equip pupils with academic and practical skills which can be directly applied later in life, with particular reference to the workplace. 

Findlay Leask of Caber Coffee said: "Sharing expertise and knowledge with the workforce of the future is critically important and we are delighted to be involved in this project with Stonehaven's Baristas and entrepreneurs of the future.

"The project is an excellent means of providing practical, vocational skills with an economics lesson in the challenges of running a business. In addition, it offers a valuable introduction to ethical trading as well as the compostability, upcycling and waste management opportunities that ETHYCO products deliver." 

He added: "We hope that this project may become something that could be adopted by other local schools throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire."

Teacher Donna Agnew explained "We are delighted to enhance this course and extend pupil skills by offering Barista training led by Caber Coffee and the REHIS Food Hygiene Certificate. 

"The pupils will use these new skills and apply them to a work context by setting up their own cafe within school and developing their own company drawing upon marketing, sales, environmental awareness and the challenges of running a business."

Mackie Academy head teacher Louise Moir added: "It is absolutely vital that students get experiences like this so that their skills in the workplace are exactly what employers are looking for.

"We not only have a responsibility to educate our students to gain academic qualifications but to ensure that they have the skills set necessary to succeed within a working environment. The opportunity being provided to us by Caber Coffee is invaluable and we look forward to working with them."