Vancouver, BC January 31, 2014 – 2013 has been a tremendous year for us at Salt Spring Coffee. As January 2014 comes to a close we are taking a breath to share some of our 2013 highlights. We continued to push the envelope on sustainability and one percent for the planet, deepened relationships with our local communities and our partners at origin. Our coffee received industry accolades, and we forged exciting new partnerships and welcomed a talented new member to our leadership team.
In February, 2013 one of our signature in season coffees, Ethopia Amaro Gayo, was served at TED2013, the influential and exciting conference that draws thousands of global thinkers to its annual event. Coffees served at TED and TEDActive were selected from submissions for single cup pour-over service in an open process overseen by The Barista Guild of America and the Roasters Guild, two organizations of culinary professionals within the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Salt Spring’s Ethiopia Amaro Gayo was selected from among eight coffees in the running for single cup pour-over service. In addition, Salt Spring Coffee’s Ethiopia Amaro Gayo was included in a one-time only espresso blend, which also consisted of Blue Bottle’s Ethiopia Kemgin and Deeper Roots’s Guatemala La Armonia Hermosa. Our in season coffee program features coffees that are sold for a limited time, hand picked for their exceptional quality and then roasted to bring out their optimal flavours.
As members of 1% For the Planet, we join a global movement of companies donating at least one per cent of their annual revenues to environmental organizations worldwide. In 2013 we donated to variety of environmental groups including LOCO BC, Sole Food, Young Agrarians, David Suzuki Foundation, Bike HUB, and Sharing Farm Society. Our staff got their hands dirty with the Sharing Farm Society in Richmond and a team of people from our Viking Roastery were paid by Salt Spring Coffee to help out for a day on the farm each week in July. We also provided a $15,000 donation to allow the farm to purchase of a tractor and produce cooler. These tools help the farmers navigate the particularly wet, heavy conditions of the soil and bring more food to families in need.
We have continued our leadership in sustainability and we are an active B Corporation certified company. We are certified by a nonprofit B Lab and we meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. A strong example of our sustainable leadership is the Zero Hero program. We partnered with LOCO BC to implement a system to optimize and track our company’s waste diversion. We can now show that we divert over 91% of our waste from our Viking Roastery and cafes, leaving less than 10% of waste to landfill. Based on our shared learning, we provided LOCO with a grant to create the Zero Hero program for other small businesses to reduce their waste. During the pilot phase in 2013, LOCO worked with Salt Spring Coffee’s wholesale customers and created a program that can work for all businesses.
In 2013 we were active in the community keeping event goers sufficiently caffeinated. We carefully select events that have strong sustainability programs in place such as Grouse Mountain’s Seek the Peak, Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise Chowder Chowdown, and our barista trailer made special appearance at EPIC Sustainable Living Festival and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
FAIR TO FARMER:
In addition to supporting our local communities, our co-founder and CEO Mickey McLeod has made several trips to visit our farming partners at origin this year. A trip to Uganda in spring 2013 provided an opportunity to reconnect with old acquaintances, discover new quality coffees and lay the groundwork for potential partnerships in the future. A visit to Indonesia in the fall of 2013 also allowed Mickey an opportunity to understand and help farmers overcome the challenges that they face on a daily basis.
Fostering meaningful relationships with our farming partners through our Fair to Farmer program has helped to increase the standard of living in coffee-producing communities and in doing so, increase quality standards. In the midst of epidemics like Coffee Rust (or Roya), Mickey has been an active participant in a number of conferences and summits at origin, including Let’s Talk Roya. He has travelled to origin to work directly with our partners to ensure that they can get the necessary funds to re-plant plants that have been affected by Roya.
We partnered with The Vancouver Aquarium in the fall of 2013. Salt Spring Coffee is now the exclusive supplier of coffee, cocoa, tea and chai products at the Vancouver Aquarium for the next six years, and through our 1% for the Planet program we are donating funds to the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program. This partnership is a true alignment of like-minded, local organizations who share similar values around sustainability, community and a memorable experience.
We are excited for a prosperous and exciting 2014.
ABOUT SALT SPRING COFFEE COMPANY
Salt Spring Coffee was founded in 1996 on Salt Spring Island by Mickey McLeod and his wife Robbyn Scott and its fresh-roasted coffee is now distributed and served across Canada at more than 300 cafés, restaurants, and grocery and specialty food stores. The company remains committed to its island roots: Forming partnerships with farmers who grow quality coffee sustainably, pioneering environmentally-friendly standards and techniques, and fostering a team of expert roasters and baristas who get the most out of every bean. Year by year, cup by cup it is cultivating a world-wide coffee community devoted to change.
For more details contact Aron Bjornson (aron @saltspringcoffee.com) , Director of Marketing, Salt Spring Coffee.
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