Promoting New Zealand’s biggest fresh coffee brand

Leigh Harris

Leigh Harris

It’s always special when the Convergence team gets to share our knowledge and skills alongside a favourite product or brand – this time it’s Hummingbird Coffee.

One of New Zealand’s original speciality coffee brands, Hummingbird began life more than 30 years ago as Christchurch’s Garden City Coffee. George and Sue Cowper bought the coffee roaster and café in 2000 and rebranded it as Hummingbird Coffee. Their son Nick now leads the business in New Zealand.

In 2004 Hummingbird became a champion of fair trade in New Zealand – one of the first roasters to partner with Trade Aid to directly import fair trade, organic, green coffee beans and to pay a fair trade premium for them. The brand still has direct relationships with coffee growers and farmers, sourcing its specialty-grade beans only from those they know and trust.

Hummingbird has now paid more than $10 million in premiums to tens of thousands of growers and their families in 10 countries.

Convergence worked alongside Hummingbird in 2022, helping to guide its overall media strategy. Targeting key media with plunger/mug/coffee sample kits showcasing new product releases, we achieved extensive media coverage for Hummingbird’s newest Altitude range, as well as a double-page advertorial feature in Kia Ora magazine.

We were also tasked with establishing grassroots community partnerships around Hummingbird’s Green Bean Fund. For every $100 of green coffee beans that Hummingbird buys, the company donates $1 back into local communities in the coffee-growing regions in Ethiopia or Mexico, or to communities here in New Zealand.

Convergence introduced Hummingbird to the Student Volunteer Army’s (SVA).The coffee company soon became SVA’s first ever Crisis Response Partner – providing the high-profile University of Canterbury club with funds to co-ordinate the hands-on efforts of thousands of volunteers in the event of a disaster.

Through SVA, Hummingbird’s Green Bean Fund will also contribute financially to a special partnership with Christchurch’s March 15 Trust, where student volunteers provide much-needed, ongoing support to the families of those killed in the 2019 mosque attack.

In a nod to Hummingbird’s roots, the brand now supports another local Christchurch business – The Green Lab. Breathing life into vacant community spaces while building and literally growing community, The Green Lab recently created a new Community Garden in Mairehau.Hummingbird donated $10,000 towards labour costs, buying plants and installing a mains water supply – a previously impossible target for the group.

And of course, all SVA and The Green Lab projects are now fuelled by delicious Hummingbird coffee!

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