B-Corp and Me

by | Feb 2, 2016 | B-Corporation, Coffee, Fundraising, On the Ground

B-Corp and Me

I’m selfish and that is why I love the B-Corp system. To help someone else brings me happiness, no matter how minor. Opening a door for a stranger to volunteering my time for a local initiative. Roll with me for a bit longer, I’ll do my best to confuse you more on how they relate. This came from being raised with a selfish value system. Take care of yourself before others. My life has been driven by this core value, Most notably the Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the Military, and now Coffee.

EMS your number one priority is you and your partner. If one of us got injured, sick, or unable to make it to the scene, someone else had to take our call. In a stressed undermanned system this puts a lot of strain on everyone. Your main priority is yourself for that reason; take care of yourself so you can take care of others. The military has a saying “Stay in your lane”. The concept means focus on your job. If everyone does their job and carries their weight in their “lane” valuable resources can be pushed towards the mission and not you. B-Corp takes these values then brings them further.

B-Corp promotes healthy business practices. It focuses effort toward positive local community and world impacting results. A business that is run responsible fiscally, can adapt to the changing marketplace. A business in a healthy community will be shielded from negative impacting events. A business with strong connections to all levels of its supply chain, impacts its values internationally. B-Corp businesses do all this, and that is why I’ve been at Amavida for 5 years.

I selfishly want a pleasant work place. I like waking up and looking forward to work most days. I like that on my days off, I want to go into Rosemary and drink a cup of coffee and spend more time with my coworkers and locals. Amavida helps support a healthy vibrant community that I love to be a part of. This is caused by Amavida Coffee being selfish by looking internally to find ways to lower operation costs, minimize negative and maximize positive impacts at all levels. We find ways to use every part of our business to help ourselves and in turn this helps our community that we live in.

Everything we do in our cafes helps us be more responsible fiscally and socially, which helps us reinvest more into our community. Reinvest does mean money, but it also means social change, environment, education, the arts, and raised living standards for all. One example of this; We pay our employees wages when they are working for charities or nonprofits. They individually work for what they believe in on their own time and we pay them to do that. Environmentally we have initiatives’ to avoid non-reusable resources where we can and avoid them as much as possible where we can’t. Bring in your own cup or reuse one of ours; we donate 20cents towards our charities. We use this to incentivize conscious thought on individual impact. On top of that all our “to go” cups are recycled and compostable. Even our “plastic” cups are made from corn and will break down. Education wise we have internship programs, we have greater discounts for teachers, raise money for our schools and work directly with them. The Arts we work closely with the local theater, have monthly art shows, a venue for a 30A singers songwriters musical festival the list goes on. By doing all this and more we raise our, and our community’s value of living.

We do our best to keep our footprint small, but coffee is an international commodity. Our membership with Co-Op Coffees we are able to directly work with our farmers and their families’. Everything from Olive trees in Palestine, to education in Ethiopia, fresh water in Mexico, and gender equality in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As I write this we have a delegation in Chiapas Mexico checking in to see how they are doing, if the self-sustaining fresh water well we helped them build is working for them. What else we can do to make their lives better and help their community to continue to grow. All of this promotes stability and healthy growth in countries that affect our farmers. We pay for our coffee for its quality, we invest directly with farms to create infrastructure and educate them so they can grow a higher quality coffee bean. Increasing the value of their coffee beans, and their living standards. Thus passing on quality and value to us that we can use in our cafes to start this giant interweaving web of positive change from our baristas homes, to our farmer fields, to the art and culture in our communities and internationally.

I’m a selfish man, as I drink my morning mocha I reflect on how much my selfish cup of coffee has impacted my world. I like knowing when I wake up I’ll have a home, job, and community I love. I like knowing that my selfishness is impacting my small community towards healthy growth. Those farmers and their families’ lives have changed for the better. Working for Amavida Coffee a B-Corp lets me take care of myself, do what I love and help others to do the same.

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