Back in 2013, I happened upon a Facebook post that mentioned an organization called Beans of Change, a coffee roasting company based in the Toronto/Hamilton area and affiliated with coffee growers in developing countries. I was immediately intrigued by the concept of this Canadian company supporting women coffee growers.
“We are very excited to support the women coffee growers of Café Femenino, which is where we get our green beans from. We then roast them locally,” says Kevin Gray who launched Beans of Change with his wife, Beth.
While that in itself is a benevolent business idea, the Grays have added a fundraising feature that non-profits in the region can participate in. “It was my wife’s idea to take our concept to fundraising so that we can support communities internationally and locally also,” continues Gray.
Fundraising via Beans of Change works in two ways. First, you can do a fundraising drive by pre-selling one-pound bags of organic, fair trade coffee. You would put in your order with Beans of Change and, once roasted and ready, your order would be delivered to you directly. The second fundraising option is, once your big push is done, to continue to sell coffee via their website where your non-profit would be listed among other non-profits for consumers to choose from.
Café Femenino, a cooperative of women coffee bean growers, began in 2004 in Peru. As stated on their website, “…developed a full social program with the goal to empower female farmers using the production and sale of their own product as the vehicle to create social change.” The site also outlines that the impetus for this program was the fact that the women growers felt they “…put more care into production [than the men], creating a superior product…”
The Café Femenino Coffee Project now supports more than 1,500 women coffee bean growers in Bolivia, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico as well as Peru. The coffee grown is organic and not blended, which results in optimum body, flavour and aroma.
I tasted most of the coffee varieties available through Beans of Change who roast beans from Peru, Mexico and Dominican Republic and I vouch for its quality.