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Our Story

Who We Are

Just Coffee Cooperative is a worker-owned, fair-trade, and organic coffee roasting cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin, dedicated to a model of commerce based on transparency, respect for labor, and environmental sustainability. It is a model where the proceeds of production are distributed as equitably as possible along the supply chain.

Our founders were prompted to begin roasting in 2001 by Zapatista coffee growers in Chiapas, Mexico who were producing high quality, organic beans on small, ecologically integrated family plots but finding no buyers. As an act of solidarity, these founders pledged to purchase their coffee and sell it, despite having no experience in the coffee trade. Our mission from the start has been to show that just results can be produced in a system where justice has little value.

We have grown a lot since then though our goals have changed little. We realized quickly that honing our expertise at roasting was the most effective way to both honor our farmer-partners’ hard work and to sell their coffee.

We now work with more than 15 grower cooperatives around the world, importing their beans mostly through our importing cooperative, Cooperative Coffees, whose online published contracts permit consumers to verify the price paid to the farmer. This level of transparency is at the heart of our Cooperative’s mission.

As a fair-trade business, Just Coffee Cooperative relies on dealing honestly and forming long-term relationships with those who make it possible to do what we do. In 2017, we became B-Corp certified which requires us to regularly validate our business practices in more than 200 specific areas including but not limited to, wages, benefits, governance, environmental impact and our relationships with our suppliers, customers as well as our community.

It is often said that we vote for the world we want to live in each time we make purchases. We hope our practices continue to merit your vote and that our level of transparency helps make evident the positive impact your dollar has on real people in the world.


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