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The Rise of Social Justice Coffee

The Rise of Social Justice Coffee

Every day, millions of coffee drinkers turn to their favorite flavor of java for morning kick-starts and afternoon pick-me-ups. But several brands are using the daily beverage fixture to do more than just provide customers with a high-end brew—they’re changing lives around the world. Here’s a look at five coffee makers employing philanthropy, ethical business practices and fair trade values into their products—ensuring a great cup of coffee and real social change.


The Nestle-owned single serving coffee pod maker recently launched an advisory board to help oversee the brand’s global sustainability initiatives. Along with supporting farmers and coffee growers in Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Kenya, the brand is also working to expand to Sudan as part of a plan to make the country less reliant on oil exports.

###Land of a Thousand Hills

Founded in the wake of the Rwandan genocide to give locals a way to earn a living and help rebuild their country, Land of a Thousand Hills’ coffee business empowers farmers around the world. LTH also partners with churches in the U.S. to support the needs of international communities where they work.

###Toms Roasting Co.

The brand known for their buy-one-give-one line of footwear has turned their attention to coffee. Sourced through a direct trade relationship with farmers around the world, TOMS coffee is freshly roasted in the U.S. In line with its one-for-one business ethic, for each bag of coffee purchased, TOMS provides clean water for a person in need.

###Peet’s Coffee & Tea

With an emphasis on supply chain transparency, environmental sustainability and giving to organizations that support international growers, Peet’s Coffee & Tea has become a model of social and ethical responsibility in the industry. Today, it ships ethically produced roasts to customers around the country.

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