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Our 2020 Transparency Report

Published every year since 2009, our Transparency Report continues to expand and evolve. 

Published every year since 2009, our Transparency Report continues to expand and evolve. 

History Of Our Transparency Reports

Transparency is a philosophy of sharing information freely in an effort to benefit a value stream and its participants. Our first Transparency Report detailed our relationships with suppliers—our communication, the quality of the coffee we purchased from them, and the prices we paid for it. We did so to build consciousness around the connection between those metrics and the wellbeing of coffee farmers. It was groundbreaking for its time—we were the first coffee company to publish FOB* prices, a move that’s now embraced by our most progressive peers.

Each report reflects an understanding of who we are and how we’re working to become a better organization. Over the past decade, we’ve continuously examined and expanded what we report on as we strive to use transparency to create a better company and coffee industry. Our transparency reports have helped us understand who we are and work towards becoming the organization that we want to be. 

Evolution Of The Report

Since our first report, we’ve expanded the information we track and publish.

Carbon Footprint

In 2012, we added information about our company’s impact on the planet by reporting our carbon footprint. Today, compared to a 2010 baseline measurement, we’ve reduced our emissions per coffee sales volume by 57%. We’ve diverted over 30,000 pounds of LDPE plastic waste from landfills and found ways to rehome all of the unsold coffee produced in our facilities. 

FOB Prices

In 2015, we started publishing the FOB prices of every pound of coffee we buy, instead of just select, certified lots. FOB or Free on Board refers to the contracted price of a coffee at the time of export from a country or area of origin. The New York “C” market price is expressed in terms of FOB, as is Fair Trade’s minimum price. FOB represents the price paid after farming, processing, milling, and preparation for export, but before overseas shipping, importation, overland transport, and roasting. 

We focus on price because we believe that a more equitable coffee trade starts with higher compensation for coffee producers. We now also track and advocate for better business practices—like building long-term relationships and contracting coffees before they’re harvested—because these practices make coffee farming more sustainable and create a more functional coffee trade.  


In 2019, we added a “People” section to highlight our staff and culture. In the 2020 report, we document that year’s actions toward building a stakeholder-driven organization and convey our staff’s feelings about those changes.


In 2019 and 2020, we also included transparency on the finances of our company—showing where our income goes—demonstrating our values in action. We’re still learning exactly what metrics will drive continued improvements, but we know our people and our finances are core to the sustainability of our business. Adding these sections to our transparency report is a meaningful step toward greater accountability.

We’d be lying if we told you we had it all figured out. To the extent that we thought we knew how to run a sustainable business, 2020 destabilized that identity. Throughout the 2020 report, we highlight the impact that COVID-19 has had on our business: from the drastic effects on our staff’s working experience to the types of products we sold, to our impact on the planet. We gathered stories from our suppliers around the globe and shared what 2020 was like for them. This report shows the resilience of our people and partners and highlights the ways our business did good during challenging times. Moving forward, we’re eager to improve in the priority areas we identified.

Highlights From The 2020 Transparency Report


  • $84,923.65 paid out in benefits that support sustainability, learning, and healthy living in employees’ lives
  • 312 volunteer hours reimbursed
  • $149,378.84 paid out in Covid-related leave time and hazard pay bonuses (March 2020-July 2021)
  • Advancements in our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts through new policies, partnerships, and cultural and structural initiatives.

Priorities for improvement: Improving our employee experience, proactively gathering employee feedback, reflecting on our culture through more thorough reporting.


  • 447.89 metric tons reduction in our carbon footprint, a 29% decrease per pound over 2019
  • 17,165 pounds LDPE Plastic (GrainPro/Ecotact) diverted from landfills
  • 6,620 pounds of sorted coffee donated
  • Became a certified B Corporation

Priorities for improvement: Improving our B Corp Impact Assessment score, advancing our sustainability impact by working in cross-departmental B Teams.


  • 3,278,501 pounds of green coffee purchased
  • $3.12 weighted average FOB paid (For comparison, in 2020, the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide median FOB price was $2.60, based on data from 81 companies. The minimum FOB Fair Trade price is $1.60 and $1.90 per pound of conventional and certified organic coffee, respectively.)
  • 11 producer-driven sustainability projects, totaling $53,310, funded through our Seeds program
  • 86, our quality assessment team’s weighted average quality score of our coffees
  • 26% of our purchases were verified by Enveritas, who surveyed producers and analyzed farm-level performance across dozens of sustainability indicators
  • 1,041 samples cupped in our coffee quality labs

Priorities for improvement: Helping suppliers address their sustainability issues through third-party verifications and increasing awareness of and demand for coffees from impactful supply streams.


  • 2,359 Tasting at Ten attendees (between January and March)
  • 2,823 hours of Educator-led training for coffee students
  • 2,574 students in our Professional Development courses
  • 387 Coffee at Home students
  • 3,276 courses completed in CIO

Priority for improvement: Completing the AST Licensure in each region, bringing the Specialty Coffee Association’s Coffee Skills Program to our customers, and providing our educators with a globally recognized training certificate.

Alongside our values of quality, sustainability, and education, a commitment to transparency is integral to who we are. Our annual Transparency Reports allow us to actively measure and better understand these values. They help us root our intentions in actions as we work toward our goal of becoming a better company and creating a better coffee industry. We’re excited to share it with you, and even more excited to hear what you think!

Read the full 2020 Transparency Report in English or in Spanish

Counter Culture is
  • pushing potential
  • freshly roasted
  • quality coffee
  • sustainably sourced
  • coffee-driven
  • people-driven
  • independently owned