Beyond Fair Trade

Green Beanery is unlike any coffee establishment anywhere, created and staffed by environmentalists at Probe International and its sister organizations in order to meet a variety of charitable purposes. We not only strive to bring you extraordinary coffees and coffee-making products from around the world, we also work to right failings in the world-wide coffee industry and to educate the public on all manner of environmental and social issues through discussion forums -- free to the public -- held on our premises in downtown Toronto.

Our business begins with the small coffee farmers who tend their crops in Africa, Asia, and Latin and South America, producing niche coffees with characteristics as distinctive and extraordinary as their local ecology. In contrast to these exceptional coffees from small farmers catering to specialty markets, mass market coffee focuses on uniformity and low cost. The demand by large scale coffee producers for uniform beans undermines the market for specialty coffees and thus the ability of small farmers to stay in business and maintain the genetic diversity in the world's store of coffee. Some coffee varieties have become extinct and others are in danger of becoming so.

Green Beanery promotes the niche coffees in smaller coffee producing areas in two ways. First, we encourage neighborhood-based micro-roasting in small coffee shops and local roasteries. Second, we encourage roasting right in the home using a variety of easy-to-use, home roasting machines. Small-scale, freshly roasted coffee, whether produced in your neighborhood or your home, supports small farmers, allowing them to keep planting traditional varieties rather than forcing them to shift to mass market crops. No less important, freshly roasted beans produce incomparably superior coffee - beans begin to lose their flavor within hours of roasting and they become stale in a matter of weeks. The environment also wins: Creating niche markets for little known coffee bean varieties helps to maintain the world's store of genetic diversity.

Green Beanery supports the environment and sustainable development through its public education events and policies designed to empower small farmers and local economies. All earnings from Green Beanery's operations support the work of Probe International, a federally registered Canadian charity that works with citizens' groups around the world to protect their lands and their livelihoods.