Today, a roll call of recent developments at origin worthy of note: industry efforts to increase and better measure impact.
Reinvestment at origin.
- Equal Exchange advances in its Congo Coffee Project. Check out the beautiful art Equal has created in connection with this worthy effort.
- Just Coffee launches Beyond the Bean, a non-profit organization that will implement projects in the communities where Just Coffee sources its coffee. Congratulations! (This initiative follows another successful example of non-profit management within the Cooperative Coffees family of roasters: the Higher Grounds non-profit On the Ground.)
- Starbucks makes a $1.3 million anchor investment in long-term financial products for smallholder farmers. This important initiative responds to an urgent need for credit for renovation and helps to close the gap in the missing middle of the credit market in coffee-growing countries.
Measuring and reporting on impact.
- Coffee Bean International released its 2011 Sustainability Report, a brilliant summary of its environmental, social and economic impacts embedded in graphical analyses of the context in which the coffee trade works. (I am afraid I missed this release and focused instead on the reporting efforts of Sustainable Harvest and Counter Culture Coffee that came later. Sorry, Sarah!)
- Portland Roasting Company made headlines recently as the 2012 Roaster of the Year. But it isn’t just a rock-star roaster. It has been making investments at origin for many years as part of its Farm-Friendly Direct model and its Coffee and Community vision. It has also been reporting steadily and well on its achievements.
- Root Capital released its quarterly impact report for Q1 2012, which continues to be one of the best reporting formats I have seen.