Beyond Fair Trade: Cavebird Coffee


It seems right to follow a Book Report on vegan brunches with a post about coffee. Cuz we all need a cup of coffee – whether we’re having brunch or just trying to get through the workday.

During a retreat several years ago, Glen, the owner of CaveBird Coffee,  decided that he wanted to do something to give back to the community. As it happened, the Archbishop of Uganda was on the same retreat, and the idea of a sustainable coffee company took hold. The process wasn’t instant – it took Glen two years to source his coffee in Uganda. But when he found his sustainable growers, he knew it. And he pays them beyond fair trade prices for their beans. An act of generosity few companies can claim. CaveBird pays 100% of the U.S.A. prices for the raw, green coffee beans to the Ugandan farmers. And this was just the beginning. Glen now sources sustainable, ethically farmed coffee in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Guatemala, Sumatra and Ethiopia as well.

CaveBird takes its name from a  15,000 year-old, pre-historic cave painting found in Minnesota. Glen thought the image of the lanky bird sort of looked like him. : ) The drawing in use on the CaveBird packaging was done by artist Jim Ducey.

Currently, there are five offerings available from CaveBird Coffee in 12 oz. bags: Costa Rican Tarazu ($10.99), African Blend ($10.99), Sumatra Mandheling ($10.99), Morning Blend ($10.99),  and Jamacian Blue Mountain ($32.00).We bought two bags from Glen at a festival: Costa Rican and African Blend. The flavor was incredible and deep. They were full -bodied with rich aroma. Very, very delicious coffee!

That’s not all though. CaveBird is based nearby in southern Pennsylvania. All the beans are locally roasted, packed and shipped, creating jobs here, too.

But wait – there’s more – proceeds  are given to water projects through HumanKind Water. Glen witnessed first hand in Africa and South America what it looks like when communities lack clean water. He wanted CaveBird to make a full circle of giving – far beyond other fair trade coffees. And thus, he creates sustainable jobs in America as well as on the international coffee farms – and sends funds to get water to the nearly 1 billion people in the world who need access to clean water. We think that’s incredible. 

Glen and the good folks at CaveBird are waiting for their 501C-charity status right now. In the meantime, you can help by filling up your mug with some of their tasty brew. Buy some bags online and support the worthy mission of CaveBird Coffee!

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