About Think Coffee
FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR COFFEE
We created Social Project Coffee because we know that it is a challenge to understand if your purchasing decisions make a positive impact in the world. Companies of different stripes, in the coffee business or elsewhere, make claims that they are “sustainable” or “earth-conscious” or “fair” and that you should buy from them because of this. To us, though, the devil is in the detail – or, rather, the good is in the detail.
Social Project Coffee is based on the idea that it is the efforts we make every day to help farm workers or their communities that make the biggest difference. Claims by coffee roasters of paying prices above market are nice, but the higher prices paid for quality coffee – and marketed by roasters as a social good – often end up in the pockets of landed farmers who may or may not share their wealth with those who really need it. It is the details, not the blanket proclamations, where the important work is done.
We launched socialprojectcoffee.com so you can see where your dollars go & how your purchase supports real projects at origin that help farm workers or their communities.
And not just some of the time. More than 98% of what we roast is Social Project Coffee.
We hope you find that our coffee tastes just a little better knowing that, with nearly every purchase, you support projects like housing reconstruction in Colombia, feminine hygiene in Ethiopia, or clean water access in Nicaragua.
WHAT IS SOCIAL PROJECT COFFEE?
Social Project Coffee is coffee that is sourced based on a direct relationship between purchaser and farmer/producer where:
- the purchaser pays a premium price for coffee
- together purchaser and farmer/producer use the premium to implement a development project at origin
- the project benefits either (a) farm workers or (b) the nearby community.
HOW IS SOCIAL PROJECT COFFEE DIFFERENT FROM DIRECT TRADE AND OTHER SOURCING MODELS?
Under a Direct Trade model, a premium price is paid directly to farmers who grow high quality coffee. In coffee growing regions, however, the people who often struggle most with basic needs (e.g. housing, healthcare, food) are not the farmers themselves, who generally own significant amounts of land and are among the wealthiest members of the community. Under a Direct Trade model, there is no requirement (or evidence) that workers or the community share in the benefits of the premium price.
Similarly, under a Fair Trade model, there is little evidence to suggest that workers or the community are benefiting from the premium price paid to coffee cooperatives. To read more about the debate on Fair Trade, click here.
On the other hand, the Social Project Coffee sourcing model provides specific, tangible benefits to farm workers or the local community. When the houses of farm workers are rebuilt, there can be little doubt that farm workers are benefitting. When women and girls are provided with feminine hygiene products otherwise unavailable to them, there can be little doubt that they are being helped to stay in school and engaged with their community.
We invite you to explore this website to learn more about the specific projects that Social Project Coffee is working on and hope that your purchasing dollars will help fund more projects in the future by supporting this model of coffee sourcing.