Transformation Areas

This story reflects success in the highlighted areas.

A community of coffee lovers: Peoples Coffee

Peoples Coffee is a team of people unified by a love of coffee and the challenge of proving that a business can produce a world-class product that is environmentally sustainable, financially viable and socially profitable.

Peoples Coffee was born ten years ago out of a desire to contribute to increased justice for disadvantaged and exploited coffee growers. Over this time it has grown and fostered authentic and mutually beneficial relationships with farmer partners in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Timor, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Uganda.  Coffee is sourced exclusively from fair trade certified co-operatives made up of small-lot coffee farms. The coffee is 100 per cent organic and almost entirely forest canopy grown, which is an important aspect for the health of coffee farmers, and their land.

Peoples Coffee is the only coffee company in Aotearoa to gain certification from the World Fair Trade Organisation, confirming that every element of the business supports the ten principles of Fair Trade.

Paying an above-fair price for coffee is only the beginning. Peoples Coffee also invests in local projects to improve the lives of marginalised New Zealanders. Last year the company launched The Arohata Project, a barista training course for women at Arohata Prison in Tawa.

The aim is to provide real, transferable skills outside of the ‘traditional women’s work’ to which they are usually limited. There was an overwhelmingly positive response from the trainees, so a bigger and better version of the course will run again this year.

People’s Coffee was a finalist in the Community Impact category at the 2014 NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards.