Words by Jessica Percifield Henry, SDCN Founder & CEO
You may be aware of larger brands, like TOMS, that operate using a one-for-one model. Buy a pair of shoes give a pair of shoes. Or most recently, buy a bag of TOMS roasted coffee and provide safe water to a person in need. In TOMS case, they promise one week of safe water per bag sold.
You don't have to look to nationally recognized brands to purchase coffee that follows this social good model anymore. In fact, the need for simple things we take for granted, like safe drinking water, is so great in parts of the world, it is a good thing that multiple roasters are tackling the issue.
Here's a few local roaster start-ups that have made this one-for-one model part of their mission, and like many cause coffees, they are subscription only. Many offer the same custom features you may get when buying your coffee at your favorite brick and mortar shoppe. We encourage you to read their mission and about page. Decide if their cause resonates with you. Then, try their coffee.
"Get coffee. Give Water." Libra Coffee targets those at origin where coffee is sourced. That's right. The people working to harvest the coffees you love so much don't always have access to clean drinking water themselves. Something to think about next time you pop your glass into your filtered fridge dispenser.
"Libra Coffee gives water filters to the communities we source from, so they don't have to worry about how to get clean water. For each bag of coffee purchased, $1 goes toward an extra-strength water filter for the locals. Each filter has the power to provide clean drinking water to 100 people for up to 5 years."
Change Coffee asks coffee drinkers, "What if we could change lives by changing one simple part of our day?" This husband and wife team gives $1 dollar from every purchase to fund BUILD IT: AFRICA, a non-profit organization that helps rural African communities by bringing clean water, sufficient health services, and places of learning to their villages. This dollar goes directly toward water wells in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia, also the known birth place of coffee. And a place where many a well scoring and loved coffee comes from. Check in with them to see if they've reached their goal of funding one water well since starting this journey (a cost of $15,000). Better yet, help them with their mission and place an order.
Okay, so one of these is not like the others. Yes, that's true. Common Good is a new roaster out of La Mesa, CA. They are subscription only, and are another example of local coffee roasters just doing good by being mindful of the supply chain, not just for purposes of quality, but for the purpose of not being exploitative and understanding the connection between price paid and the wage of the people that produce the coffee, the environment it is produced in and the conditions under which everyone operates along the way. If we learned anything from the DanWatch Report Podcast, it is that it takes a constant gardner checking and caring about the supply chain, and that's what good coffee purveyors do. They care. And they stake their names and brand on caring. Of course this describes all our Members.
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