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A different kind of certification

A different kind of certification Image

Thursday, February 22, 2018

a new lens

Peace Coffee was founded in 1996 with one simple mission; to make memorable coffee that honors the farmer, cares for the planet, empowers its staff, and serves its customers to help change the way we view this beloved drink. We invest in our farmer cooperatives by forming long-term trading relationships and foster collaboration by importing coffees with a cooperative of our own. Our roasting operation seeks to minimize environmental impact by delivering coffee via bicycle, occupying a green building, composting waste, and using intermodal transit (e.g., rail and truck) for our green coffee deliveries. We seek to stand as a bridge for farmers by connecting our customers to the real challenges farmers face through climate change education and advocacy. Coffee is made for conversation, whether with others or within ourselves. We aim to engage in productive dialogue with our partners, staff, and consumers that manifests creative problem solving, nimble processes, and enthusiastic activism for change.

part of a movement

Though we have stayed true to our commitment of roasting 100% organic and fair trade coffee, we have long wanted to be part of a movement to push ourselves to assess and do better as a whole. B Corp certification propels us forward with a statement about the entirety of our business practices that consumers can trust. It speaks to the root of our company, founded on the idea that our products should bear the highest social and ethical standards, and shows that the branches of our business are working in harmony with these ambitions.

what’s a B Corporation?

B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. There are over 2,000 B Corporations in  50+ Countries and in over 130 Industries - all with  1 Unifying Goal - to redefine success in business. 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.

Compared to our Public Benefit Corporation status from the state of MN, this certification is not self-reported but achieved by receiving a minimum verified score on the B Impact Assessment. Recertification is required every 2 years against an evolving standard.

Certification begins with an assessment including 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)

Next comes an interview with B Corp staff and we must submit documentation to prove our responses were truthful. The final score from the assessment has to be at least 80 points out of a possible 200.

certification impact

Certification shows that from how we source our coffee and build our employee benefits to how we deliver our beans by bicycle and offer transparency in our purchasing, every decision and practice is important to our business and impacts our world. Since our founding, we have proven that coffee is not just a commodity but a story that can connect people and places thousands of miles apart. We consider people, profit, and the planet to be equally important to our success, and B Corp certification connects us to a broad movement of people using business as a force for good™.

the Change We Seek®

From each coffee cherry picked to each bag of coffee we place on the shelf, our purpose is unwavering: infuse positive change into every thread of our business. We strive to have integrity in our relationships, be transparent in our transactions, and use creativity and thoughtfulness to inspire others to seek a better way of consuming. We want people to ask questions about their products and to hold businesses like ours accountable for the claims we make. We want to encourage dialogue between the farmer and consumer that not only highlights quality but also emphasizes stewardship and impact, the ideal result being our collective practices and purchases pursue a secure and sustainable future for all involved in the chain.

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