I found Peace Coffee this week at Target when I was looking for new coffee grounds to buy. I was unsatisfied with the selection of Dunkin and Starbucks coffee that takes up the majority of shelf space, and a smaller selection of Peace Coffee caught my eye. As I read the bag I knew I had discovered something special, a truly sustainable coffee option that prioritizes community and environmental health. As I researched the product for this review, I discovered positive practice after positive practice, and I am happy to be giving this product a near-perfect score.
While coffee growing can suppress disadvantaged workers around the world with cheap wages, Peace Coffee has deviated from the norm by only purchasing fair-trade coffee through grower cooperatives. These cooperatives support small-scale farmers around the world and prioritize community while still allowing for economies of scale. Every cooperative that Peace Coffee purchases their beans from is listed and described in detail on the website fairtradeproof.org, a remarkable way for consumers to discover exactly where their coffee is being grown, how the workers who picked it are treated, and what projects/progress has been done in each cooperative to improve the lives of farmers and create community. An example of one of the company’s long-term projects is investing 3 cents from every pound of coffee sold into the communities that they are grown in.
Through their supply chains alone, Peace Coffee has rewritten the narrative of what is possible in the coffee industry and set a high bar for the future.
The company roasts their coffee beans right in Minneapolis, where they sell most of their coffee. I cannot find much information about how they treat their coffee beans prior to sale, but a short video about the company shows them hand-packing, hand-sealing, and delivering each bag of coffee by bike. Moreover, they have the mantra “pedal, not petrol”, which reflects how they bike their products to stores in Minneapolis. For deliveries out of state, they use a biodiesel van, a vehicle that emits between 56% and 86% fewer greenhouse gasses than regular cars. While it is unclear whether every bag sold is packed by hand, it is commendable that they deliver their products locally in a carbon-neutral way. I think the website could do more to explain their roasting process, but I don’t think this means they have something to hide.
Peace Coffee’s website is a perfect example of how true sustainability should look. In their about section, they define themselves as starry-eyed dreamers, a spectrum of curious, intuitive, and intentional humans, and a force for fairness. While many companies make claims like this, it is plain to see that the employees at Peace Coffee actually embody these ideals. All the employees seem to be incredibly passionate about their company, and this indicates that they follow through internally with the sustainability and fairness claims they make to the consumer.
To address specifics, the company is certified by the nonprofit B lab, which means they have proven to excel against rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency, according to their website.
Overall, Peace Coffee seems to be a shining star in the world of coffee production and sustainability, and I encourage you to check them out!