Peace Coffee depends on goods and services that move along a cooperative chain spanning the globe. Valuing people and planet over profit means we exist to produce coffee that not only tastes good, but does good in the world. A by-product of this is the opportunity to use our collective voice to advocate for the values we hold dear. With deep ties to the fair trade and organic movement, equity has always been at the center of our business. And after last week’s Supreme Court decision, equity is being challenged here at home as well, so we’re again adding our voice to the conversation.
Fair treatment for humans throughout the supply chain is one of our strongest core beliefs — and one of the main reasons we have seen so much progress in the farming cooperatives we purchase from. From paying fair prices for coffee to the conviction that long-term trading relationships are the best way we can have real impact on farming communities, we hold fast to the ideal that what we do and how we do it can effect lasting change.
Over 25 years in business, Peace Coffee has witnessed grave injustice— from corrupt governments creating harsh conditions for our farmer partners or ‘coyotes’ —local coffee buyers preying on desperate farmers— trying to undercut our contracts and offering bad deals. But throughout, we have advocated for the voices in our caffeinated world and their rights.
We provide farming communities with funds to improve operations through the Carbon, Climate, and Coffee Initiative. We purposefully leave the choice of how to use these funds up to them. They know their land, their neighbors, and the real challenges impacting their community more than we could ever hope to–they decide what to do based on what will be best for their communities in the long term.
We come into these conversations with farmers from a place of great privilege. And in advocating and acting for equal access to the opportunity to thrive, our success is bound up with theirs. Their concerns are ours, and vice-versa.
And now, the rights of people here at home are under attack.
The past week has been a challenge— one we cannot shy away from. As a women-led, queer-owned company, this is a threatening time in our history, but one we are ready and willing to face just as we have faced similar trials with our partners across the globe. As we struggle for the rights and values that our farmer partners hold dear, we also support organizations in our own backyard, groups that work toward goals in harmony with our global view of dignity and equity for all.
Fundamental to Peace Coffee and the folks behind the beans is the truth that when the rights of anyone are challenged or threatened, we must use our voice and everything else at our disposal to help the cause. Just as we’ve advocated for fair trade with farmers and care for our planet through organic farming and sustainable climate practices and policy, we see equal rights for all as one of the most pressing issues of this moment.
We must work for good here at home — it goes hand-in-hand with our support of equality in farming communities around the globe. Our full support of securing the right to a safe abortion is a small yet essential stance to help combat the power grab that we’ve seen from the Supreme Court over the past week. Sparked by last week’s unprecedented decision, this week (and this time of year going forward), Peace Coffee pledges our support and will amplify the voices of organizations fighting for equal rights, equal access, and justice for marginalized people in our home community.
This year, we are partnering with Gender Justice, a St. Paul-based nonprofit that envisions a world where everyone can thrive regardless of gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Step by step, they’re creating that world by dismantling legal, structural, and cultural barriers that contribute to gender inequity. They work to ensure people of all genders have a meaningful right to bodily autonomy, safety, health, and opportunity.
Peace Coffee is donating 50 percent of this week’s profits to Gender Justice and its continued advocacy for reproductive rights and justice truly for all, which is paramount to the world we also envision.
And just like the challenges we’ve come together to overcome at origin, we hold unwavering hope that a better world is possible. With your help, we will effect change to make the world a more just, peaceful place to live for everyone, from the mountainous coffee-growing regions of Peru to the neighborhood streets of Minneapolis we call home. As always, we are grateful for your support!
-Lee Wallace, Peace Coffee Owner & CEO