Sustainable Coffee With Bellwether
We’re on a mission to transform the coffee industry, making it more accessible and sustainable for our planet and communities across the entire coffee supply chain.
Positive Impact on the Planet
The coffee roaster that turns environmental impact on its head.
We designed the Bellwether Roaster to be the most sustainable coffee roaster in the world, both in air quality and energy use, to enable businesses that roast coffee to minimize their environmental impact.
Traditional gas-powered coffee roasters send smoke, particulates, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—similar to those found in aerosol sprays—into the air with every roast cycle. With the United States alone producing over 8 billion pounds of roasted coffee every year, the harmful impact of these emissions is not sustainable for our planet or healthy for the people who live on it.
Uncompromising quality and craft with a lower carbon footprint.
Bellwether’s first-of-its-kind recirculating roasting technology eliminates particulates and VOCs in real-time, during coffee roasting, without requiring additional ventilation systems or afterburners. The air that exits the Bellwether Roaster is cleaner than the air going in, reducing the carbon footprint of each roasting cycle by an average of 90%.
We’ve also cracked the code for achieving unrivaled precision and consistency in a commercial roaster using electricity—not natural gas—as the power source. With a significantly lower carbon footprint across the globe, electricity minimizes the roaster’s energy requirements while leaving the roasting process and technique fundamentally unchanged and uncompromised.
The world is turning towards renewable energy.
Electric-powered coffee roasting is the future.
In some regions, including California and Washington state, local power grids are already approaching 100% renewable energy at some points during the day. This makes the Bellwether Roaster the first commercial coffee roaster in the world capable of running completely on renewable energy.
What does sustainability mean for coffee?
Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world; yet, over 80% of the 12.5 million farming families who produce coffee live below the poverty line. Coffee farmers face a myriad of challenges including low prices, climate change, and crop disease and pests. These challenges have a direct impact on the well-being of farmers and their families and their access to education, housing, food, healthcare, and other basic necessities.
Addressing the challenges that they face is vital to the sustainability of the coffee industry. Research indicates that the higher the income and quality of life for farmers, the better and more sustainable the final cup of coffee is. Sustainability for coffee starts at the very beginning of the supply chain—with the coffee farmers.
Positive Impact at the Coffee Farm Level
Bellwether’s green coffee buying principles ensure that we establish and maintain relationships with coffee growers and cooperatives who align with our values. Our sustainable coffee buying principles are focused on quality, traceability, and sustainability.
Quality + Traceability
We travel to origin and work with incredible importers to understand every coffee’s story with the goal of humanizing the farmer behind each cup. We go through hundreds of samples a year to ensure every Bellwether customer receives the best coffee offerings available.
We find the balance between quality coffee and the cost to obtain it, never compromising or settling for industry standards and instead, constantly pushing to define higher ones.
We strive to ensure that farmers are getting paid fairly by creating maximum financial traceability along the supply chain.
We strive to pay farmers fair prices based on what it costs them to produce coffee, rather than what the market prices tell us we should pay.
We partner with importers, farmers, and cooperatives who are investing at the farm level to address environmental issues related to climate change, habitat preservation, and reducing pollution
We align with growers who are committed to empowering people of all genders.
Tip the Farmer™
Coffee farmers around the world are paying more to produce coffee than they are able to sell it for, which makes it hard for farmers to derive a living income. We launched Tip the Farmer™, a first-of-a-kind program, that helps farmers earn a fair wage and invest in their own futures by empowering coffee drinkers to tip the producers behind each cup.
Here’s how it works:
1. Coffee drinkers tip farmers directly when they purchase a cup of coffee at a participating retailer.
2. Bellwether distributes 100% of the money collected to farmers (Bellwether pays all fees associated with sending money).
3. Farmers choose how they want to invest the money into their farms and communities.
It’s all about building connections across the coffee supply chain.
We partner with incredible importers and travel to origin to develop direct relationships with producers. Through these relationships, we gain a better understanding of the challenges producers face, like how much it costs to produce coffee, and share stories with coffee drinkers about the impact additional income can have through Tip the Farmer™.
There is a story to be told about the producer behind each cup of coffee, and Bellwether is honored to share those stories.
Tip the Farmer™ is officially launching in Spring 2020, and we look forward to sharing more soon!