We have a bold mission to Empower our Farmers, End Human Trafficking, and Engage the Community. I want to make sure we are actually accomplishing that mission. Therefore, at the end of each year, I create our Ethical Impact Report. The purpose of the report is to try and quantify monetarily the difference we are making in the world. In other words, to what degree are we accomplishing our mission?
It is worth mentioning that many ways of making a difference in the world have nothing to do with $$$s, such as service opportunities, raising awareness or education. At Three Tree Coffee, we certainly engage in enriching activities daily that are not addressed on the report.
For example, how could we value the daily service our barista's give to the local community? I constantly receive testimonies of customers finding community at our establishment. How incredible?!
Or isn't providing an enriching work environment to 25 employees who are challenged to create their own charitable mission someday worth something?
Another example: Should I include the ENORMOUS amount of TAXES we paid to support public services?! (ok, I am sort of joking on this one...sort of)
All that to say, we could take a stab at valuing these, making the number higher which would make us look really good! But this isn't about good PR as much as it is about holding ourselves accountable publicly. Our slogan is 'Local Roast. Global Reach.' We want to make sure we are fulfilling it, especially when it comes to coffee and community.
With that said, I am pleased to report that we made a positive impact of at least $10,240. The important thing that I want you to take away from this is that the prices we paid to coffee farmers above industry standard represents almost 70% of that number!
Last year saw a steep drop in coffee prices from trading around $1.20/lb down to less than $1/lb for most the year*. That may not sound like much, but a 17% decrease of revenue in any business would be tough to swallow, especially for international farmers where the margins are tight. This is where our coffee purchasing methods made a difference. For all of 2018, we either paid fair trade prices for coffee ($1.30-$1.40/lb) OR we paid more through our relationship coffees called Gold Leaf Series.
Did you catch that? WE MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE JUST BY THE WAY WE BOUGHT COFFEE! What a lesson about how we all can make a big difference by focusing on where we buy our products.
$10,000 may not be 'changing the world' much, but to our coffee farmers, it meant everything. Thank YOU for supporting what we do.