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288. Planet Bean Coffee serves up International Year of Cooperatives flavour

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Coop Name: Planet Bean Coffee N° of Employees: 30
City: Guelph N° of Members: 10
Country: Canada Year of formation: 2002
Website: http://www.planetbeancoffee.com Twitter: Link
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Planet Bean Coffee is a division of the SUMAC worker co-operative. SUMAC was founded in 2005. The co-op owns and operates two divisions, Planet Bean Coffee and Wear Fair - Fair Trade & Organic Clothing. SUMAC is dedicated to providing products from Fair Trade and organic organisations throughout the world. Planet Bean Coffee was started in 2002 with the focus of providing fresh roasted, gourmet, Fairtrade coffee in the city of Guelph.

From banners to buttons, flags to flash mobs, cooperators across Canada are showing their IYC colours, but a worker coop in Guelph, ON is showing its IYC flavour: the 2012 Coffee Blend. Planet Bean Coffee, owned and operated by the Sumac Community Worker Co-operative (SUMAC), created the special blend in celebration of the IYC and is promoting it as “co-op from seed to cup.” It brings together beans from coffee farmer coops in Ethiopia, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The coffee is also certified organic and purchased through certified Fair Trade channels. “We created the blend to bring an international flavour to Canada’s IYC hoopla,” says Bill Barrett, president of SUMAC. Most people don’t realize that when they choose Fairtrade coffee, they’re often supporting farmer coops, he says. In Canada, there are three worker coops united in their goal of growing the national Fair Trade market: SUMAC, Just Us! Coffee Roasters and La Siembra (Camino). “Co-ops have a long history of enabling marginalized groups of farmers, workers, and consumers to better their lives through collective action,” says Barrett. “And that’s what makes them the logical choice for Fair Trade organizations.”

Author of this story
Canadian Co-operative Association
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