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A “Better” Cup of Coffee by Putting People First

A “Better” Cup of Coffee by Putting People First

For Larry’s Beans, coffee roasting is about the people. Throughout the process the company considers the farmers who grow the beans, the roasters, the employees, the local community, and the consumer. To this certified B Corp, putting people and the planet at the core of their mission makes for a ‘better’ cup of coffee.

Larry began his quest for ‘better’ coffee in the early 1990s by sourcing directly from small farmers, a revolutionary idea at that time. He recognized the difference that a direct source of income made for the farmers who previously lost money to middlemen. Since his first trip to Mexico over a decade ago, Larry’s team visits farmers annually and sees first hand the positive impact that fair trade has had on the families and farms. Larry also teamed up with other coffee roasters to found Cooperative Coffees, which buys fair trade coffee in bulk. This allows smaller companies to source directly and still get fresh beans. Today there are 23 roasters purchasing 100% shade grown (good for the environment) and organic coffee beans from 16 countries. This means better wages and better coffee for more people worldwide.

People are important to the company at the local level as well. Larry’s Beans offers fun tours of their green facilities to the community, delivers local coffee orders in their vegetable oil-run bus, donates 1% of their revenue to local causes and actively supports local artists. Larry’s also sources locally when possible to better support the people around them.

Larry’s Beans became a B Corp to maintain and improve upon their dedication to people, planet, and profit. Larry’s believes in spreading knowledge about the power of commerce, or “voting with your dollars”, and B Corp certification supports that.

Find out more about fairly traded coffee and Better Know Larry’s Beans. After all, coffee just tastes better when it is doing so much good.


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9:40PM PST on Feb 9, 2012

Nice story, thanks.

1:23AM PST on Feb 9, 2012

Fair trade is good - buy fair trade if your purse allows as it helps those in need.

4:55PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Thank you for this! I'm just now becoming familiar with this issue and am trying to find as much info as I can about helping.

1:20PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

I am a person who enjoys being able to go to a couple of locally owned coffee houses. I like being able to support the local small bussiness owners by making purchases from them as opposed to Corporate chains. I love buying whole coffee and espresso beans so I can grind them fresh. I like knowing that I support fair trade and realize that every little bit helps make an impact along the way. Thanks for a great article!!!

1:16PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Thank you Larry's Beans, for a wonderful example of how businesses can make money and do good at the same time.

12:36PM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Thank you for sharing. I had never heard of Larry's Beans but we do have fair trade coffee.

11:37AM PST on Feb 8, 2012

I would much rather pay the small coffee growers for whatever the cost Starbucks or other big coffee companies are charging. Coffee from small coffee growers is ever bit as good.

11:15AM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Bravo to "little people"!! They always get least attention. Bigger people don't realize they're "rich" cuz of little people who kept their companies running.

9:56AM PST on Feb 8, 2012

I love it!

9:48AM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Let's hear it for fair trade! Its hard work, tending to coffee trees-- hot temps, the coffee berries are small, lots to do to process the picked beans. I learned about the economic justice work related to coffee at this place (where I traveled to in 2006):

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