Celebrate with us twenty years of raising the bar on trade justice, raising hell with the Big Boys, raising incomes and quality of life throughout the coffee world, while raising families here at home!
For the month of October, take $1 off online for each of the four coffees that started it all - Moka Sumatra, Uprising!, Marrakesh, and Peruvian French Roast Decaf. We're also giving away bumper stickers for free, so plaster the world with your favorite ones.
Twenty years ago this month, we embarked on an experiment. After years of watching coffee companies avoid any sense of real responsibility to their “partners” by throwing a few bucks at charities but not changing their business models, we wondered if business could be done differently. Would it be possible for a company to pay real prices to Global South farmers, deeply engage in the developmental issues in their lives, and still be profitable? The answer has been a resounding YES! We started Dean’s Beans long before the term “social enterprise” was popular and we were the very first company to incorporate direct development based on farmers’ priorities into a business model (and to tell you the truth, there are still very few who do!).
Along the way we made the first Fair Trade Organic (FTO) hot cocoa and the first FTO chocolate-covered beans. We co-founded Coffee Kids (the first development group in coffee), Cooperative Coffees (the first roasters cooperative in the world) and the Coffeelands Landmine Victim Trust. Our People-Centered Development programs in all the producer communities have been effective in delivering positive change and as important helping people gain a sense of control and empowerment in their own lives. We are not a household name (we still don’t have sales and marketing people!) but are well known and respected in the countries we work in and have received many awards from the UN, the coffee industry and others.
We participated in the development of Fair Trade in the USA and often have been the not appreciated truth teller to the bureaucrats of fair trade certification and purveyors of misleading info from other organizations. We have helped the farmers develop their own certification system that we are rolling out this month as well.
We have sent dozens of interns and visitors to the coops to learn about social justice in coffee, and have lectured to over ten thousand students at universities around the country, hoping to inspire the next generation to keep hold of their values in this hype-driven world.
And you made that all possible.