Simon Coley is celebrating after the New Zealand company he co-founded, All Good Organics, received the award for the world's Fairest Fair Trader at the Fairtrade Awards.
He told Saturday Morning that sourcing cola from Sierra Leone was one of the things that helped the company win the award.
He and his colleagues, brothers Matthew and Chris Morrison, received the award on a Skype linkup from Bonn, Germany, at 4am on Friday morning. It recognises special efforts or innovation by outstanding individuals within the global Fairtrade system.
All Good Organics is a New Zealand company dedicated to giving a fair deal to small farmers in the developing world.
With its All Good Bananas, sourced from the El Guabo Cooperative of 430 small family farms in Ecuador, they have managed to secure a small market share of the competitive banana market in New Zealand in the face of some of the world's biggest fruit brands.
They also have a range of organic fair trade soft drinks.
Their Karma Cola brand uses vanilla bean grown by the Huiwani Fairtrade Cooperative in Papua New Guinea, organically grown and processed sugar cane from the Manduvira Fairtrade Organic Farmers in Paraguay and real cola nut from Boma village in Sierra Leone.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle of Karma Cola goes to the Boma village community, still suffering the after-effects of a ten-year civil war.
This has enabled the community to build a bridge and helps the Mende people to grow and sell more cola nut.
All Good Organics was also named one of the World's Most Ethical companies in 2013 by the New York-based Ethisphere Institute, the only New Zealand company to make the list, which has been published annually since 2007.