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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:
When I first started in this position as Sustainability Manager a few months ago, I knew that one of my biggest tasks would be strengthening our internal sustainability. As I've mentioned before, we've spent a lot of our efforts up to this point focusing on origin programs. It's not that we didn't...
In the last post, I talked about why I think reporting is so important and what we have planned for the future of our own reporting. As I dived into planning for the upcoming 2014 Transparency Report with our coffee and marketing teams this week, I was asked a really important question by both...
A few weeks ago, I read an article about the purported end of the farm-to-table movement in the restaurant industry. According to the author, farm-to-table has been taken too far and restaurant-goers want to go back to ordering off of a menu without being “berated” by an extensive explanation of...
Expanding on the theme from my last post, I'd like to keep exploring the movement away from thinking about sustainability in coffee as a checklist of certifications and more as a process of movement along a continuum of continuous improvement. One aspect that's really appealing about the...
Over the duration of this series, I've talked a lot about "moving along the continuum" or "moving along the spectrum" in reference to how we think about sustainability. I'd like to dive into this idea a little deeper, because it applies to how we think about a lot of things Counter Culture—not just...