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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Telling Coffee’s Bean-to-Cup Story Through Cooperatives

People in the United States love their coffee, and increasingly, love specialty coffee. The U.S. coffee industry was valued at over $225 billion in 2015 with specialty coffee consumption increasing from nine percent to 41 percent during 1999-2017. In fact, 59 percent of all coffee consumed in 2017 was specialty coffee. This trend highlights U.S. consumers’ increased preference for higher quality coffee but also an increased interest in coffee farmers, as achieving higher quality starts with the producer. More than ever, consumers want to know their coffee’s bean-to-cup story.

NCBA CLUSA, the US’s oldest and largest trade association promoting the cooperative business model for more than 100 years, through the USAID Cooperative Development Program’s (CDP) trade initiative, has promoted the bean-to-cup story over the past several years by facilitating direct relationships between Latin American coffee cooperatives and US consumers. Trade activities focused on strategic exposure visits to facilitate direct, sustainable trade relationships that benefit Latin American specialty coffee cooperatives with organic and Fairtrade certifications. 

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