2801 21st Ave S No 130
Minneapolis, MN 55407
In late November 1995, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
(IATP) invited a small group of Mexican farm leaders to Minneapolis to
discuss the U.S. Farm Bill. At the end of the meeting, Luis Hernandez
from La Selva, a Mexican coffee cooperative, complained that during all
the talk, he hadn't sold a single coffee bean. He looked at IATP and
said, "You guys should be selling organic fair trade coffee."
Shortly thereafter IATP created Headwaters International and later our
brand name, Peace Coffee. In December 1996, Headwaters' first
container, 38,000 pounds of conventional and organic coffee from
Chiapas, arrived. After the first container, we bought a partial
container of Guatemalan Peace Coffee. A portion of the "profit" went to
support Guatemalan peace efforts in collaboration with Nobel Peace
Prize laureate, Rigoberta Menchu.
In 1997, IATP incorporated TransFair USA and signed the first contracts
with U.S. companies roasting fair trade certified green beans. It was
the beginning of a new market for fair trade products in the U.S. that
continues to grow and expand to new products.
In 1999, a second full-time employee squeezed into a tiny office. The
Peace Coffee brand was consolidated and the nervously optimistic buzz
kept growing. Also in '99, to further our commitment to the
environment, both social and ecological, the policy of bicycle-powered
delivery whenever possible was adopted.
Peace Coffee continues to grow out of experiences in the coffee
regions, time spent working in local cooperatives and a desire to push
fair trade to the highest level. Since the first batch of Guatemalan
coffee, we have made connections with coffee cooperatives in Mexico,
Sumatra, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Peru, Nicaragua and Colombia. We have
also changed the supply chain by co-founding Cooperative Coffees
(www.cooperativecoffees.com), a coop of roasters formed to import 100
percent fair trade coffee direct from the farmer coops that grow it.
Peace Coffee today includes a staff of twelve and coffee varieties of
fifteen and growing. We roast, pack and distribute our coffee beans all
under one eco-friendly roof in Minneapolis. In the Twin Cities metro,
Peace Coffee still delivers by bike year-round and our suburban
accounts get their coffee from a big, bright biodiesel van. What
remains unchanged is our complete devotion to the idea of a fairly
traded, farmer-friendly product and the wonders of a great cup of