Dean’s Beans 2007 Year in Review
This past year provided wonderful opportunities to deepen our relationships with our farmer partners throughout the world, create amazing environmental initiatives at home and weather twenty percent growth at the same time!
In the Coffeelands:
Peru We signed the industry’s first ever Long Term Fair Trade Contract with our partners at Oro Verde Cooperative, modeling what a serious commitment looks like. Besides purchase and pricing targets to help create stability for both sides, we agreed to joint development and marketing of products in Peru and the USA, the creation of cafes and roasting operations in Peru, technical training and support, and industry advocacy. We also appointed a member of Oro Verde to our Board of Directors and joined the cooperative as a dues paying member.
Guatemala Working with Cultural Survival, an indigenous rights organization, we conceptualized and funded Coffee Talk, a radio program to spread technical and other information about coffee to rural farmers throughout Guatemala. The program has been wildly successful, being picked up and broadcast by 26 rural stations. We are working to make these programs available throughout Latin America in 2008.
Nicaragua We have funded a study and provided money for initial equipment purchases for a new café/roasterie in Esteli, to be owned and operated by our partner, Prodecoop. The café will provide jobs as well as education to visiting tourists and buyers about the types and qualities of Prodecoop’s coffees.
Colombia We funded the purchase of land in the sacred Sierra Nevada Mountains to create a center for learning of traditional knowledge, to be run by the Mamos (Elders) of the Kogui people.
Ethiopia We funded an extension of our water supply system in Jimma, the birthplace of coffee. In Yirgacheffe, we held community planning sessions to consider the future needs of the school, and created a fundraising project using note cards with photos of the children of the village.
Kenya In 2007, we funded International Organic Inspector training for John Njoroge, the head of the Kenyan Institute of Organic Farming, to begin creating organizational capacity for organics in that country. John is the first Kenyan to be certified internationally for organic inspection.
Rwanda We partnered with Men’s Resources International to provide Men Overcoming Gender-Based Violence training for the first time in Rwanda, including training representatives of three major coffee cooperatives. The response was overwhelming, and we will be bringing the training directly to the cooperatives this year.
Sumatra Our farmers coop in Sumatra split into three groups in 2007. We funded construction of a new office building for one of the groups.
Papua New Guinea We funded international organic inspection for our growers’ group, which did not have sufficient cash to pay for the inspection. The result is that the coop can sell their coffee for a significant premium on the world market.
East Timor Working with a local NGO, we began funding a new initiative to help farmers grow crops in addition to coffee that will provide nutrition and variety on their tables and a surplus for sale in local markets.
And here at home:
Our new Comprehensive Sustainability Program took off this past year.
UN Global Compact We became the smallest member of the UN Global Compact, which requires full disclosure and reporting on how your organization is addressing the many aspects of the Millennium Development Goals (concerning health, ecology and many other issues). Our Report, on the Compact website, is a model for the Big Boys to follow!
Solar We inaugurated a ten kilowatt solar panel on the roof of the beanery. The result was an immediate drop of 65% in the amount of energy we get off the grid.
Alternative Technology We designed and are almost finished with the installation of a new exhaust cleaning system. The standard in the coffee industry is to burn off coffee roasting exhaust gasses using super-high BTU natural gas-burning, ozone-hole punching afterburners. Taking our cue from coal-fired power plants, we have designed a wet scrubber/electrostatic precipitator (a shower and a bug zapper!) that does the same thing for about four light bulbs worth of electricity, eliminating both the use of natural gas and the heat plume. Our small-scale model worked well enough to pass the town health inspector and we are gearing up the full-scale unit.
Finally, Chelsea Green published Dean’s new book, Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee, to raves from Publishers’ Weekly and many reviewers.
Thank you for purchasing our organic, fair trade products. We look forward to another great year!