Cultivating Peace with Coffee
I grew up drinking Peace Coffee. In fact, when I started drinking coffee straight - no cream or sugar - it was because of the rich and perfect flavors that I experienced drinking Peace Coffee. You can imagine my excitement when Harmony started carrying Peace Coffee in December of 2017, and I wasn't the only one! Folks were buying this coffee off the cart before it was even on the shelf. Our community clearly loves this coffee, and the reason is simple: Peace Coffee cultivates peace.
Peace Coffee was born in 1996 out of late-night conversation between the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and a group of Mexican farmers. At the time coffee prices were at all-time lows, and fair trade certification had yet to make its way to the U.S. making business difficult, and frankly unfair, for hardworking farmers.
Since 1996, the company has grown dramatically - they have opened two store fronts and a roastery in Minneapolis, MN and they work diligently to stock coffee shelves all around the country with organic, fairly traded beans and grounds.
Peace Coffee's mission is to make exceptional-tasting, organic fair-trade coffee that sustains the livelihoods of the people who grow, roast, and sell it; preserves and protects the environment that produces it; and delights the taste buds of those who drink it.
Committed to quality, community, sustainability, transparency, and individuality. Growing Community Together highlights product quality and how it relates to the communities in which it was grown or raised and consumed. It also looks at the transparent commitments to sustainability made by the company. In this regard, Peace Coffee is a true partner in Growing Community Together.
In addition to their many qualities, Peace Coffee just received their B-Corporation Certification! This means that they meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The unifying goal of B-Corp is to redefine success in business. According to their website, "in order to achieve certification, Peace Coffee was assessed using stringent practical standards that measure our impact on all of our employees, our community, and the environment."
B-Corp Certification begins with an assessment that includes over 230 questions that look at these impact areas.
Governance (mission lock, ownership structure , financial transparency)
Workers (employee benefits, training program, and employee tenure)
Community (managing gender pay equity, charitable giving practices, supplier practices)
Environment (recycling/composting, building locations, organic product)
In November of 2017, Harmony initiated a Core Messaging Committee that was tasked to discover the message that we want to share with the community in 2018 - a message that would resonate in everything that we do. The committee kept circling around three words that meant a lot to us: Growth. Community. Inclusivity. When seeking Harmony's 2018 shareable and relate-able message with the lens that growth, community and inclusivity provided, we identified our 2018 core message of Growing Community Together.
The cooperative business model highlights community ownership. We currently have over 2500 community investors and we wouldn't be here without them. We want to celebrate the impact that our community has on our local, regional, and global communities. Right now, the products that Harmony Co-op is sharing with our community are combating climate change by providing funds to the Co+op Forest in Peru, helping build schools in Africa, providing stable jobs and maternal care for women around the world, and even keeping money flowing to the many local farmers who live in our community.