As we round the halfway mark of another Earth Month, it’s important to take a moment and reflect upon the ways we can give back to a planet that has given us so much. Water, soil, air, mountains, oceans and so much more.
And then there’s coffee. Warm, smokey, sweet, blissfully-hot (or cold, depending on the season) coffee. With thousands of years of history behind it, there’s just nothing quite like the power of a warm cup of Joe in the morning. We’ve grown so accustomed to quick, cheap coffee on demand that the thought of its journey from soil to cup isn’t even taken into consideration.
This Earth Day — and every day after — consider buying coffee from a company that has a commitment to the planet and its people built into its mission statements. Here are five coffee companies whose dedication to facilitating real change in the world has earned them the honor of becoming a certified B. Corporation.
Located in Orange, Massachusetts, founder Dean Cycon founded the aptly-named Dean’s Beans in 1993 as a means to provide a meaningful change in the world through ethical business practices and deep-rooted respect for the planet and its inhabitants. Dean’s Beans works closely with its farmer cooperatives, working with people in countries like Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, and East Timor to direct development projects and ecological responsibility while upholding the B. Corp environmentally responsible trade.
Distributing fine Latin American coffee to the masses was a dream easier said than done back in 2000. After some trial and error, the team at Caravela Coffee knew they’d need to go beyond the typical route of simply buying and selling beans. B-Corp certified since 2014, Caravela Coffee excels in the way it considers its impact on stakeholders (i.e employees, suppliers, the community, customers, and the environment.) The Origin Compass takes customers on a guided tour of coffee by way of a podcast that explores the industry while forging connections between roasters and producers.
Since 1994, Coffee By Design’s mission of educating and enticing the public with high-quality coffee has earned the small business a well-deserved reputation throughout Maine. Allocating resources towards worldwide initiatives that support farmers, suppliers, and communities locally and worldwide. CBD’s idea of a higher standard of business manifests itself through its buying relationships, hiring practices, and community support — to name a few. Their work with organizations like the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA), Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center (GPIWC), and Portland Buy Local organization exemplifies their commitment to change while their relationship with farmers is nothing short of inspiring.
It’s no easy feat to harvest, and brew coffee that’s not only certified organic but GMO-free and grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, but that’s how this small business rolls. In fact, Jim’s Organic Coffee takes pride in the way they go above and beyond the typical route of coffee companies by partnering with charities in coffee-producing countries to send children to school and develop communities. Since 2012, Jim’s has given more than $45,000 to charities in coffee countries like Guatemala, Uganda, Tanzania, and Honduras. It’s all part of a pledge this B. Corp made long ago to give back to those who give to us.
A New England staple, Wicked Joe is a family-owned business that proudly treats employees, customers, and suppliers like they’re part of the family. Under the mission of roasting “epic coffee in a manner that is kind to both the earth and to the farmers who painstakingly grow our tasty bean,” Wicked Joe only purchases from Fair Trade and Organic-certified farmers while ensuring environmentally friendly conditions around the world. Wicked Joe’s energy-efficient facilities and sustainable business practices epitomize this Maine’s company’s dedication to making a difference.
By Jeremy Glass, April 20, 2021