Ethical Bean is a Vancouver-based coffee company that sells organic, shade-grown, fair trade coffee. Certified by B Corporation, which is an organization that judges businesses according to their social and environmental contributions, Ethical Bean’s mission includes community outreach programs that benefit children, education and the arts.
Founded by Lloyd Bernhardt and Kim Schachte, Ethical Bean’s social and environmental mission has numerous aspects. Some notables include: electricity powered by Bullfrog Power, which is Canada’s green energy supplier; helping to develop clean energy programs and reforestation in Guatemala; a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) certification; and a location in a green building; certification by LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design); and certification by TransFair Canada, under the Fairtrade Labeling Organization (FLO). Furthermore, Ethical Bean buys carbon offsets through the Carbon Neutral Company in order to aid in the development of clean energy programs and reforestation projects in Guatemala. Not only is this an environmental mission, but the project also ensures that local businesses and communities can have reliable electricity which has a positive impact on economic and community development.
In light of the 2010 holiday season, Ethical Bean donated a portion of their proceeds from coffee sales to send children to school in Guatemala through the Child-Aid Ethical Bean Scholarship Fund. In November 2010, Ethical Bean had an adoption fundraising program. It’s clear that their social program extends beyond simply fair trade coffee.
What is more, Ethical Bean’s popularity is growing steadily meaning that the company is better able to make a difference through a variety of outlets. Ethical Bean received a nod from none other than O: The Oprah Magazine, as one of her favourite things. It’s no surprise since Ethical Bean’s products are innovative in that they are interactive. Every bag of coffee has a six-digit lot number that you can type in on their website and find out the story of your coffee beans. This is an effort to increase the transparency of each product using embark technology. Furthermore, Ethical Bean is tuned in to the online world, with a bustling Twitter account, a colourful, but clean, website, a YouTube channel, a Facebook page and an iPhone app.
With a variety of offerings and flavours including “rocket fuel,” “mellow,” “lush,” “exotic,” and “sweet espresso,” Ethical Bean is a welcome alternative to the Starbucksization of North America.
Ethical Bean Website
1315 Kootenay Street
Vancouver, BC V5K 4Y3
Toll free: 1-877-431-3830
Organic Shade-Grown Coffee
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