You are here

Social Responsibility

Sustaining Educational and Environmental Development at Source.

In 2010, we created a program called Seeds to codify our commitment to supporting projects in coffee-growing communities that improve the natural environment and promote education. Creating great coffee requires collaborating, sharing information and learning from the experiences of others: whether training the children of coffee growers to cup their coffees or leading workshops on clean coffee-processing methods, we recognize that we are able to take steps toward equity through education.

Farms that actively care for their physical environment are even more rare than farms that produce great quality. Often, the incredible commitment of time, money, labor, and resources go unrecognized by buyers and coffee lovers. Without incentives for conservation and sustainable coffee farming, these incredible farms may well disappear.

We dedicate one penny per pound of coffee we purchase to our Seeds projects and on average, we support four to five projects annually with partner farms in communities worldwide. Profiles of past Seeds projects can be found as Updates tagged Seeds.

Counter Culture producers, if you are interested in applying for funds Seeds program, click here.

Proveedores de Counter Culture. Si Ud. tiene interés en aplicar para fondos del programa Seeds, haga clic aquí.



In every region of the United States where we open a training center, we also look to build relationships with community-based organizations that focus on two issues: sustainable agriculture and hunger prevention and alleviation—sometimes referred to as food security. We see the benefits of sustainable agricultural practices and environmental stewardship in coffee farming and we believe in supporting those principles globally. The same is true for food security: scarcity of nutritious food is an issue that affects both the communities where we source coffee and at home, and often, we are able to join forces with our customers to support non-profits doing great work locally.

We use the same funding mechanism of a penny per pound, in this case of coffee sold, to set our annual budget for domestic contributions and we provide that support in the form of in-kind coffee donations and brewing service.

Local Donations

If you represent an organization doing work on sustainable agriculture or food security issues in one of the US cities where we have a training center, and you are interested in support from Counter Culture, please click here.

In the Office

Health insurance, a subsidized 401(k) and profit sharing (not to mention free coffee) comprise the core of our employee benefits, but in the past few years we have added a few non-traditional programs to promote our values, including community supported agriculture (CSA) shares for all of our training centers and an employee green fund that provides up to $500 in matching funds per employee annually for individual projects that contribute to environmental or personal well-being. Employee experiences and testimonials can be found on our Facebook page.

We are excited to share our work! 

Related Updates:
In this post, I'd like to dive in to what I mentioned in the first post as a good indicator of a coffee's sustainability: certifications. Wouldn't it be great if there were a certification and corresponding label that could simply tell us whether a coffee is sustainable or not? The good news is...
Welcome to the first in a series of posts about what sustainability means in the context of coffee. Over the next few weeks, we'll explore questions like, "How does Counter Culture know that a coffee is sustainable?" and "What does a sustainable roasting operation look like?" As a recent...
Twin Trading is no stranger to the sustainability limelight. This year, they received the Specialty Coffee Association of America's 2014 Sustainability Award for their project "Congo Coffee Revival: Regenerating Communities by Linking Remote Farmers to Mainstream Markets." Twin Trading invests all...
The deck is stacked against a lot of small coffee cooperatives. They are focusing intently on how to keep yields and quality high while keeping members happy with prices. Cooperative members have various needs that include access to affordable, healthy food; healthcare; and extra money for...
Root Capital is a 15-year-old non-profit organization with headquarters in Cambridge, MA—and satellite offices and staff across the globe—that has been getting a lot more attention from the coffee industry over the last few years. A "social investment fund," Root Capital promotes prosperity in poor...