Sustainable Harvest imports more than one of every six pounds of Fair Trade and organic certified coffee sold in the U.S. They source beans for major retailers like Peet’s Coffee and Whole Foods, making them one of the largest importers in the nation. They can also make a claim to being the highest impact.
In 2010, Sustainable Harvest purchased millions of pounds of Fair Trade and certified organic coffee from small farms at prices averaging 51 percent more per pound than they would earn on the commodity market. All totaled, they paid about $30 million to farmer organizations for their coffee in 2010 and will pay approximately $70 million to farmers 2011. As a result, in the last two years alone, they channeled more than $8 million more to communities in places such as Peru, Colombia, Mexico, and Tanzania than the farmers would have received working through traditional middlemen.
Sustainable Harvest’s efforts with its suppliers goes beyond paying fair prices; the company has invested a significant share of its profits in training more 3,700 farmers in best practice farming, water management and techniques to combat hunger, ensuring the livelihood of its farmers and a supply chain for its company.
What’s most impressive is that Sustainable Harvest has done all of this while making large revenue gains at the same time. Sales have increased from $25 million in 2009 to $34 million 2010 and more than doubled to an estimated $76 million in 2011. Sustainable Harvest has kept its staff relatively small in order to pass the full benefits of the sustainable model on to the 2,000 farming families with whom they work. Now that’s a sustainable harvest.
Find out more about Sustainable Harvest