Cause Coffees : Relationship Coffees

Another tack also was taken by early specialty coffee idealists. A percentage of the purchase price of certain coffees was put back into development projects that directly benefit subsistence growers. Coffee Kids, founded by Bill Fishbein in 1989, was one of the earliest organizations to promote this approach. Coffee roasters and retailers either make direct contributions to Coffee Kids and its development projects, or contribute a set percentage of the sales price of designated coffees or other products.

Roasting companies and retailers often make their own, direct sponsorship arrangements with coffee growing communities. A roasting company may market a cooperative’s coffee and return a percentage of the retail price directly to the community in support of various development efforts. These arrangements are typically well-advertised by the companies that sponsor them, and justifiably so.