The part of the Peace Coffee story that we call 2018 could not exist without first acknowledging the immense, painstaking work of our farmer partners in coffee cooperatives around the globe. The beginning of each sip from your morning mug begins, in actuality, worlds away where coffee trees are tended to by families not unlike yours. Our farmer partners span 11 countries and are part of 20 different cooperative farming groups that grow organic, fair trade coffee as their livelihood. Being in partnership with these farmer groups is integral to our mission to support small-scale growers and to connect them to sustainable markets for their coffee. We purchased over 975,000 lb. of coffee from cooperatives in 2018, and look forward to that number growing to over 1 million pounds of organic, fair trade coffee grown in harmony with the land and sustaining farmers this year.
We keep close to our farmer partners and their resounding guidance that purchasing more organic and fair trade coffee is not only welcome but necessary for their success. We continue to advocate for change by adhering to Cooperative Coffees’, our importing cooperative, commitment to a minimum price of $2.20/lb. And in pursuit of sustainable growth, we paid nearly $500,000 in organic and fair trade premiums to our farmer partners to fund projects like experimental farms, developing organic fertilizers, and increasing on-farm processing capabilities that increase quality and reduce transportation cost. In 2018, we also deepened our commitment to the Climate, Carbon, and Coffee Initiative by contributing $28,870 to help bring improvement projects to life in Ethiopia, Peru, and a producer exchange in Guatemala where farmers from different countries come together to share insights and tactics that will benefit everyone. As the cherries ripen and harvest draws near each season, we’re mindful of how their labor affords us such opportunity to bring people together.