An Update: Our Groundwork for Sustainability

With big business buying up key roasters in specialty coffee, the heat to survive is turned up.  But long before Blue Bottle was purchased by Nestle or majority shares of Stumptown and Intellegentsia were sold to Luxembourg-based, JAB Holdings, we were planning Café Campesino’s road map to 2040.

From our perch in the Americus Quonset hut-turned roastery- we dream big.  For us, to survive is to thrive and to double-down on our efforts to build and sustain a supply chain that creates win-wins- for farmers, roasters and consumers.

To quote Rene Ausecha Chaux, general manager at Colombia’s small-farmer-friendly exporter Expo-Cosurca, “We all want to be happy and live good lives.  We just don’t have to do at the expense of each other.”  We couldn’t agree more.

For us, sustainability is converting more coffee drinkers into that mindset- getting them hooked on Fair Trade and organics, in addition to freshly roasted coffee.  It’s also about delighting and retaining our existing customer base- enjoying each other’s company and making good on our promises.

It’s about purchasing more coffee from the same small-scale farmers we’ve worked with year after year; introducing them to more consumers, listening to their needs and supporting efforts by Cooperative Coffees and others to help farmer co-ops improve their soils, increase their yields and battle the effects of climate change.

It’s about letting our consumers know that despite daily environmental, socio-economic and political challenges – these small farmers manage to produce some of the world’s best coffee.  And pick it by hand.  And often they are looking after one-another in the process.

We believe the key to our sustainability is continuing to do what we do, but doing it a lot better.  And so this year, we dug in our heels and made some changes – externally and internally – with the intention of creating a better experience for our customers, our staff and our trading partners.    Here’s what we’ve been working on:

  • Updating our Purpose & Core Values –We’ve articulated the heart and soul of our business a bit more succinctly and posted it on our website and throughout our facilities.
  • New Logo- We wanted to refresh our look but not lose sight of the concept in our original artwork that depicted a coffee bean inside of a hand. We also wanted our packaging to more clearly communicate the words “Café Campesino” (which is loosely translated as “coffee of the small farmer” from Spanish).
  • New bags- We moved to Biotre packaging for our 1lb and 2lb bags. The paper, exterior part of the bag is biodegradable, made with renewable resources, and it replaces the foil bags we’ve had for many years.  While the inside of the bag is still plastic, we believe we have made a move toward more environmentally sustainable packaging without compromising freshness.
  • Updated Website- We made our website easier to navigate and are now giving you more updated, timely and interesting content, reviving our blog, and adding weekly coffee recipes.  We also made “Our Current Coffee Lots” page more accessible, putting our commitment to business transparency front and center.
  • B Corp Certification- Earlier this year we received our B Corp certification, after having passed a rigorous third-party evaluation of our social and environmental performances. As a B Corp, we join other businesses across industries practicing what we believe- that business can be a force for good.
  • Instituting Rockefeller Habits– Like many successful businesses before us, we are working to better communicate internally and externally and improve our business practices.  This is a work-in-progress, but we’ve made enormous progress this year!
  • Focus on Coffee Education- Our Sales and Education Representative Hannah Mercer, received a key industry certification this summer. She is an Authorized Specialty Coffee Association Trainer, able to train baristas, coffee professionals and others according to industry standards.

In short, we’ve been busy… and the year’s not over yet.  We believe we are laying the groundwork for our own sustainability for the next 20+ years, and working toward a future we can all enjoy.  We hope you will continue to support us.  Spend some time on our website.  Read our blog posts.  Send us your feedback, or better yet, visit us in Americus.  We hope that you continue to be a part of our community for this year and many more to come.

October 6, 2017
BY blog2_q3hku8
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