Twenty-five years ago, the coffee landscape was wide open. National chains were starting to appear, and people were learning how to choose the right beans to enjoy a good cup of coffee. At that same time, a unique coffee company, Peace Coffee, was making its own mark, establishing a fair trade, organic and sustainable coffee industry model of putting people before profit and educating consumers about where their beans come from.
“Peace Coffee’s journey began with a challenge: Buy organic coffee at fair prices and form long-term partnerships with farmers while roasting and selling delicious beans. And those ideas were hard for most people to believe—that our model, building an intentional focus on community care into our business, could work,” says Lee Wallace ('01), CEO and Queen Bean, Peace Coffee. “But we persevered, and eventually other coffee companies followed our lead.”
Today, Certified B Corp Peace Coffee is a rapidly growing enterprise that’s In It For Good, investing in farmer coops and their communities around the world and supporting nonprofits in local markets to raise funds and awareness for important causes.
But the future of coffee is at risk. Every day farmers face challenges from climate change that can make or break their entire growing season— from the time it takes coffee trees to fruit, to changing harvests, to decimation from catastrophic rains and other extreme weather events. Studies estimate by 2050, climate change will render half of the world’s coffee-growing lands unsuitable.
To help avert impending crisis Peace Coffee formed a Carbon, Climate and Coffee Initiative in 2017 with other like-minded coffee roasters, investing three cents per pound of coffee purchased back into initiatives to help farmers adapt to climate change. To date, the company has invested more than $130,000 and will donate $35,000 more by the end of 2021.
“We believe the magic of Peace Coffee can exist and effect systemic change in our industry. If we don’t continue to support the way coffee is produced, shore up protection for pollinators and push through climate protection efforts, our favorite beverage might be just a fairy tale before long,” says Lee Wallace, CEO and Queen Bean, Peace Coffee. “Peace started by caring about the people who grow the coffee, and that continues today. Our commitment to equity, sustainability, and community earned us a place in consumer coffee mugs over the last quarter century— and we hope to be a part of the day for many more years.”
To celebrate its 25-year anniversary, Peace Coffee is also launching a limited-edition coffee — Party Animal — on June 25, a light roast coffee with beans from Mexico and Honduras. The blend celebrates the magic of believing in sustainability, fair trade, organic coffee (and maybe even unicorns). A portion of the proceeds from this blend will be donated to the Carbon, Climate and Coffee Initiative and to Twin Cities nonprofits Reclaim, Lake Street Business Council and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.
All summer long, Peace Coffee will be celebrating its anniversary with magical moments, beginning on summer solstice, like giveaways, charitable donations and pop-up events. Follow along with the celebration this summer on their Instagram.
About Peace Coffee
Since 1996, Peace Coffee has been In It For Good. Over the last 25 years, Peace has purchased more than 10 million pounds of green coffee from small-scale farmer cooperatives in more than 12 countries. In 2020, 98% of its coffee came from cooperatives that Peace Coffee has had relationships with for more than five years. Three cents a pound for every pound Peace Coffee buys goes into Carbon, Climate and Coffee initiatives. The socially conscious coffee roasting company is a certified B Corp, bringing transparency to the coffee industry while delivering expertly roasted, small batch organic coffee (often via bicycle in the Twin Cities) to its many fans across the United States.
Peace Coffee has been committed to buying organic, fair trade coffee, and forming long-term partnerships with cooperative coffee farmers. Their owner and "Queen Bean" is Lee Wallace ('01).
Shop the limited edition "Party Animal" blend here coming soon June 28.