A Long Read on Accountability from our Friends and Partners at Semilla Coffee: Who Watches The Watchers? Towards a Politics of Accountability in Specialty Coffee

We put our money and effort where our heart is when it comes to our coffee sourcing. We only source the most ethical coffee, supporting true change and the farmers who need it most.

Don't get us wrong, our coffee is good. Better than good actually, it's great. We stand by the quality of the cup we serve, but above all else, we are proud of being transparent about where and who it comes from. We don't determine our sourcing by cup scores alone, and truth be told, we've bought green coffee without sampling it first. Because more important to us is the mission and people behind the coffees. We want to help play a small part in contributing to a better and more equitable supply chain. The farmers we source from know our roastery. They know what we do, and it's a valued partnership made possible by Brendan Adams at Semilla Coffee.

We source our green beans through Semilla, and learn a heck of a lot on ethics, or in many cases, the lack there of, when it comes to sourcing coffee. We pride ourselves on being transparent about our sourcing and will continue to hold ourselves accountable, constantly revaluating how we can do better at every step.

In that spirit, check out Brendan's latest article on holding roasters accountable! As too often, roasters get a pass, and let their ethics slip in pursuit of a really high scoring coffee or maybe one with a real friendly price tag (which probably means someone else in the supply chain is paying the price...). Below is an excerpt from the article. You can read it in its entirety here. That link will also lead you to a whole bunch of Brendan’s equally compelling articles. 

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If we are to see real change in this system in our life times, we will all have to become more comfortable being held accountable for HOW we work and WHY. And we will have to not only a accept when these questions are asked of us, but in fact, encourage that they be asked.

In this time when we are discussing more and more how we can seek to be anti-racist in our daily lives, there is no better opportunity than by creating a commitment within our companies to speak up against injustice in the coffee supply stream that relies upon and too often exploits the labour and life of the Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities worldwide. 

Price paid is the minimum, and “tipping” or paying higher prices for coffee can’t be considered enough as long as this system continues to function on embedded power imbalances that tilt the risk and danger towards communities of colour in the Global South...

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