What's New


To celebrate World Fairtrade Day (May 13th) we are having a contest! Send us a pic on twitter or facebook of you enjoying something Fabulously Fairtrade! We will pick 5 random entries to reward with gifts of our fabulously fairtrade and organic coffee!

Fairtrade Canada is Celebrating 20 years! To help celebrate this achievement (back in the day it was started by volunteers) part of the celebration includes contests, and contests mean prizes!! You could win a pound of our coffee.
 Get details by visiting their web site.

Did you know that the whole month of May is Fairtrade Month?? Fairtrade Canada has lots of ideas of how you can help celebrate all things Fairtrade. Check it out at www.fairtrade.ca/fairtrade-month. Between the 12-14th of May, Take the Fairtrade Challenge! Register your purchase or event@FairtradeChallenge.org.

As you may know, Cooperative Coffees Roya Fund has evolved into what we call our Impact Fund.  All coop members pay an extra 3 cents a pound on all our green coffees and we use these funds for producer projects. The fund basically is the first of its kind to put "Carbon, Climate and Coffee" all under 1 umbrella. Our current round has provided funding for 8 projects related to soil health. As keen members of the Impact Committee, it was a no-brainer that one of us from Alternative Grounds should attend the first workshop that the Fund is sponsoring with our partners at SCFU in the Sidama region of Ethiopia!!. May 9th see's Kevin, Monika, (CC's Director of Sustainability) Elise a bio-char tech from Montreal, plus a group of roasters from Europe all converging in Adis Ababa. There they will connect with local partners "Soil and More Ethiopia" and journey out to coffee country to begin a series of soil trials. The point is to evaluate a variety of methods to improve soil health and ability to retain water, including creating compost and bio-char. Our enthusiasm is clearly matched with that of our on-the-ground partners...

"I'm so excited that more people are joining the cause of this great mission…As a citizen of humanity there isn't a single thing in the world that makes me happier than people talk about the care of their natural environment in general and the health of soil in particular... the most important thing in this workshop is to get the message of healthy soil across and inspire smallholder farmers whom soil is their source of daily bread and life..." Hussen Ahmed, Soil and More Ethiopia

Watch for photos and up-dates in the coming weeks!

Want the real dirt? Check out this link http://news.nationalpost.com/life/food-drink/how-organic-farming-will-save-us-all-if-we-can-throw-away-our-antiquated-notions-of-what-it-means .  Great article about the importance of building healthy soil, something that Cooperative Coffee's Impact Committee is all over! Our leader in the mission for great dirt, Monika Firl,Director of Sustainability also has a fine filthy blog at http://coopcoffees.coop/manure-management-taken-to-new-levels/


  • The JUNCTION FROMAGERIE, 3042 Dundas West, junctionfromagerie.com. Reload on fresh locally roasted fairtrade coffee beans while shopping for artisanal cheese, preserves, bread and other goodies! 
  • Right on Roncie! At MABEL's, 323 Roncesvalles Ave. (and 1156 Queen St. West), Hours: 7:30-7:30 weekdays and 9-6pm on weekends. Also, at EVERGREEN NATURAL FOODS, 161 Roncesvalles Ave. And last and not on the strip but nearby, at  SUNNY JOE's (250 Sorauren Ave., across from the park), open 7:30 to 5:30 Monday to Friday, and 8:30 - 5:30 Saturday, CLOSED Sunday.
  • In Parkdale, at the WEST END FOOD COOP (1229 Queen W. at Dufferin). 
  • On Bloor West at the NUTHOUSE (1256A Bloor St. West)
  • Further afield? Now you can find our coffee at ABOKICHI! 258 Dupont St. You can purchase beans or grab a cup when you are getting your onigiri!!
  • Midwest dwellers south of Bloor, East of Lansdowne: Head over to McCormick Park Cafe and Market brought to you by the Aangen Community Centre, located at 66 Sheridan Avenue (by the Children's playground, nearest intersection: Dundas West and Dufferin), For hours and updates visit: http://www.aangen.com/shop.asp


peru update

As many of you are aware, Peru is experiencing one of its worst floodings in decades. The northern region of Piura, where most of our producer partners live and grow coffee, has been one of the hardest hit. NORANDINO, our partner coop on the ground in the region, has suffered great damage (estimated cost at $500K and rising) and its offices are not yet operational. Many of its staff have have joined the cleanup efforts currently underway. In response, Cooperative coffees and its members (including yours truly) have started a relief fund for immediate emergency support. To read the detailed update of the ongoing situation in Piura, click on this link: Piura Update, April 6. Please keep checking this page for more updates and reports from our partners. In the meantime, let's keep the farmers in Peru whose coffee we love and enjoy in our thoughts. 

Our new crop of Bolivian is in!! BOA 164 is Beautiful!!! Pungent, mild herb- cedar?, dry fruit - fig? on the nose. Very big sweet dark chocolate notes - dense and velvety. A hint of fennel. Slightly dry finish - big and bold and made for a second cup. Enjoy!!

Roya knows no boundaries - check out Florents report back from his recent trip to Sumatra featured on Daily Coffee News at dailycoffeenews.com/2016/11/11/empty-cherries-the-impact-of-climate-change-in-sumatra

A reminder that we have a copy of "Connected by Coffee" available for loan. This doc features a number of our producer partners and 2 Coop Coffee members on a tour of Central America looking at coffee as a means of empowerment - where we are and the distance still to cover. Thought provoking stuff!



A heads up that we are working on a revamp of our website - things will be disappearing and appearing as the process unfolds. We are excited for the changes!

Talk about purpose-full re-purposing! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT0xV-AQnEY&feature=youtu.be, We've got the bags!! Give us a call or drop us a line!

Wondering about what has been happening with Grow Ahead? Despite our best intentions, it appears the crowd-lending site to pre-finance coffee shipments with small growers, did not have as broad appeal as we would have liked. Partly a lack of funded infrastructure, as well as changes in the coffee market and availability of reasonable loans for small farmers, it seems to have outlived its raison d'etre. However, we are excited by talks that are underway for the site to be re-launched as a site for small farmers to access loans to help mitigate climate change. Small farmers do indeed, cool the planet! Stay tuned for updates. Please be assured that your loan can be retreived at any time. Thank you for supporting small farmers.   

COG has this FREE fun activity book "Our Nature is Organic" that you can download here http://www.cog.ca/uploads/OurNatureisOrganic_WEB.pdf   All kinds of neat stuff from ancient grains to heritage hens, pollination, healthy soils and recipes!!

We really enjoy reading, and highly recommend, Michael Sheridans coffee blog - always thought-full and often provocative. www.coffeelands.crs.org.

IN THE NEWS! Rights Action shared an insightful report/interview addressing the Hondura's social climate, and how Canada has continued to profit from the political investment it made back in 2009 when it opted to support the infamous coup d'etat that ousted the country's democratilly elected president Manuel Zelaya.  Read the report at www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Canada-Is-Not-Honduras-Friend-Coups-Repression-and-Profits-20161105-0013.html, and listen at radiofreewinnipeg.tumblr.com/post/151627521957/canada-in-honduras



While it is difficult to say goodbye to our Rwandan coffee, we are totally biffed with the new Honey Honduran from our friends at COMSA! We roasted our first load and oh what a lovely coffee!! Smooth, and dense -dark chocolate, silky, a little rosehip in the acidity, this medium roast beauty shines in filter prep. Speaking of prep, Kevin is very fond of saying " you need the right tool for the job". I have been thinking this also applies to coffee. A die-hard afficianado of my stove-top espresso maker, lately I have been experimenting with different roasts and different coffee prep methods. This weekend I used the last of our Rwandan full city in my old pyrex perc and it was absolutely delicious!!! I had previously tried it in the stovetop but the short extraction time did not allow for the coffee to fully flower. I heartily recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and experiementing - try something different and brew it in a different way. You might not like all of your experiments but it will surely bring a whole new appreciation for the complexity of the bean!

PS. we only have 1 bag of this coffee so I highly recommend if you see it, you try it!!


The weekend of May 12th is the Spring Pottery Sale at Inspirations Studio! noon to 6. 2480 Dundas St. W. north of Bloor on the east side.

Phew! What an action-packed weekend! Saturday May 13th from 10-2 is the Parkdale Hort Society's Plant Fair and Craft Sale!! Honestly, there is no better way to outfit your garden. Admission is free and remember it is cash only! Dig In!!

The same day is the "Spring into Parkdale" Sidewalk Sale! 11-6 pm along Queen between Roncie and Dufferin.

Not too soon to start thinking about World Fairtrade Day Saturday May 13th! Send us a pic of who/what/or how you celebrate it and we will share the love!!

Monday May 22nd the Soraureen Park Farmers market heads outside - Yahoooo! And, should you need more cause for celebration, there will be a plant sale at the market - Yahoooray!

Start gearing up for Bike Month May 29th-June 30th. Check bikemonth.ca/events 

Did you know that the Humber Aroboretum in collaboration with Humber College is offering a program in Sustainable Urban Bee Keeping?



Check out "Fair trade vs. Free trade" a concise educational and advocacy piece produced by the fairworldproject.org:  "Wouldn't it be great if public policies benefited the public, so everyone could prosper, and so-called "free trade agreements" valued our precious resources rather than exploiting people and the planet? As consumers, we have the power to vote with our dollars, as well as to engage in local and federal policy reform in order to help change.." Watch at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNPkiJrk_Bw

 Here's another fantastic article via the Fairtrade Federation that provides an inside look of the business behind your daily cup of fairtrade joe - it features our coop and a few of our dedicated partners: www.fairtradefederation.org/what-do-you-know-about-the-business-behind-your-coffee. Read on!!!

And another must read:  Cooperative Coffees Position on Fairtrade. Also, do check regularly our coop's news section for great articles, reports from the fields and updates on our members and producer partners, www.coopcoffees.coop/whats-new/external-news.

Do remember to check out Faitrade Proof, one of Coop Coffees' initiatives which addresses "transparency" in fairtrade transactions made by its members. At www.fairtradeproof.org, you can trace the beans you love from farmer to roaster, and learn about the intricate yet rewarding inner workings of fairtrade partnerships.


We're Passionate About Fairtrade and Love to Share Our Passion! Over the years we have gathered a good collection of articles, books and videos about different aspects of Fairtrade and coffee. These are available for your perusal on loan. We're also available to do slide shows and presentations. Give us a call to request and book a visit, 416-534-6335.


Gerry for bringing a quotation from the late Tommy Douglas to our attention:  

"Courage, my friends. It is not too late to build a better world."  

Words to live by!!