Brand Highlight: Conscious Coffees Organic & Fair Trade Coffee

Brand Highlight: Conscious Coffees Organic & Fair Trade Coffee

Donor360 has made it our mission to connect ethical, eco-friendly brands with organizations and charities working hard to make the world a better place. We only work with companies that are committed to creating amazing products that don’t come at the cost of damaging the Earth or its people. 

This month, we are happy to feature Conscious Coffees - a Colorado-based roasting company that is giving back to the community on a local and global level while doing everything they can to make greener coffee. Their coffee is certified organic and “beyond Fair Trade,” and they specialize in roasting single-origin coffees from small-scale farms around the world. Their coffee is available to purchase and sell from the Donor360 catalog. 

Community Minded Coffee

Conscious Coffees began as a project between two baristas to create a socially and environmentally responsible cup of coffee. Since then they have grown to become a Certified B Corporation dedicated to doing things the right way, at all levels. When we spoke, company owner Craig Lamberty said for him, the certification means transparency and correct treatment of all people involved with the company - farmers, employees, customers, and vendors - as well as taking care of the environment. 

Conscious Coffees is one of the founding members of Cooperative Coffees, a co-op that sources green coffee beans directly from co-ops of farmers. Sourcing ‘co-op to co-op’ enables Conscious Coffees to cut out any middlemen during purchasing. This has allowed them to work with the same farmers for years, creating lasting relationships and providing a secure income for farmers that otherwise could risk being bought out by large-scale coffee companies. 

Craig explained that although Coop Coffees is certified Fair Trade, Conscious Coffees pays their farmers better than Fair Trade. The current Fair Trade coffee minimum price is $1.40 a pound and $1.70 for organic beans. Conscious Coffees pays a minimum of $2.30 a pound, but its average payment is closer to around $3.50 a pound, well above the Fair Trade price.  

When we asked Craig what he was most proud of Conscious Coffees for, he mentioned the company’s Best for the World nomination, which they have actually been awarded six times. Best for World means Conscious Coffees is in the top 5% of all Certified B Corps. The award recognizes the extra effort they put in when it comes to fair treatment of all people touched by the business they do, as well as their dedication to the environment. 

Craig has traveled abroad twice with Coop Coffees to meet growers. “My two trips to Mexico and Honduras will live with me for the rest of my life. I want more of those experiences,” he told us. Craig said these trips have been the highlight of his time owning Conscious Coffees. 

Dedication to the Environment

The coffee industry doesn’t have a reputation as being eco-friendly. Issues like deforestation, destruction of animal habitats, and waste production from coffee packaging and products like coffee pods are often on the minds of conscious consumers. Conscious Coffees is making steps in a greener direction - both locally and globally. 

On a local level, Craig explained that Conscious Coffees composts and recycles everything possible from their factory and production. When delivering new orders of coffee to partner cafes, CC collects all plastic wholesale bags they previously dropped off and takes them to a facility where they can be recycled for future use. Their current retail bags are 60% compostable, and they are looking into new bags that are 100% compostable. 

Conscious Coffees has committed to using 100% organic beans to produce their coffees. Unlike the large-scale coffee brands that rely on deforestation of land and destruction of animal habitats to create mass coffee plantations, the average Conscious Coffee partner farm is around 3-5 acres. The company works closely with small, often family-owned farms around the world that have committed to growing organic and sustainable coffee.

Craig mentioned one of these special farming communities in a town called Marcala, Honduras. The town has established its own community-wide composting and recycling program, developed an organic insecticide to use on their plants, and hosts a local organic farmers market. 

Local farmers there founded a Co-op called COMSA that is currently managed by one of the original farmers in the organization. The Co-op is certified Fair Trade, and was able to build a community school with the money they got back from their certification. Conscious Coffees is dedicated to working with local, forward-thinking communities and farmers just like this, in places all around the world. 

Coffee from the Heart

Whenever we talk with Craig, we’re struck by how excited, involved, and dedicated he is! He’s proud (as he should be!) of the work Conscious Coffees is doing for the local Colorado community, the global communities it interacts with, and the environment. Craig did not get into the coffee business to be a bystander - he is at the tasting table each week sampling new beans and he is flying across the world to visit isolated farming communities whenever the opportunity arises. 

As for his favorite Conscious Coffees product, - Craig recommended his regular go-to, the Natural Ethiopian, which he sips all day long. When asked what goals he has for the company, Craig mentioned working with more liked-minded cafes in Colorado as well as around the United States. He is excited about some new micro-lots they will be featuring in the coming year, including single-origin releases from Colombia and Bolivia. 

Make sure to stop by Conscious Coffees’ Donor360 eShop this holiday to find something special for your friends and family! This season Conscious Coffees is supporting the Boulder Food Rescue, a charity benefiting the local Colorado community. Your purchase will help them raise donations for this important cause while supporting their mission to create delicious organic and ‘beyond Fair Trade’ coffee. 



Conscious Coffees Product offering on Donor360

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Mackenzie Perry

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