history

Cooperative Coffees is a green coffee importing cooperative committed to supporting and partnering with small-scale coffee farmers and their exporting cooperatives. By importing directly from our partner-farmers, we do business in a way that creates a fairer, more transparent and sustainable system of coffee trade that directly benefits farmers, and their families and communities.

Coop Coffees’ story began in 1997, when founder Bill Harris – inspired by his encounter with a Guatemalan coffee coop on a Habitat for Humanity delegation – decided to start up a roasting company that would import and roast fairly traded coffee beans from Central America. By 1998, Cafe Campesino, the roasting company, imported one full container – approximately 40,000 pounds of coffee. Needless to say, they were up to their ears in green coffee that would have taken them years to go through themselves. So Bill planned a road trip to scour the eastern seaboard and across the mid-western states, looking for value-driven roasters interested in investing in a collective coffee importing venture. In 1999, seven roasters met in Atlanta and officially formed Cooperative Coffees.

In 2009, 10 years down the road, the cooperative had grown to include 23 roasters who spanned the continent from the Yukon to the panhandle of Florida. Committed to sourcing sustainably grown coffees and to partnering closely with the farmers who grow it, our roasters know that by working together, cooperatively, they can more readily impact and multiply the positive effects of their selective coffee purchasing.

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