What's New


Your Nickel's Worth!!!  The Roya Fund education collaboration in action!!


Our Coop was able to facilitate an intensive training workshop addressing Roya in Colombia at Fondo Paez Coop. The talks were led by Victor Contreras - one of the star-organic promoters from COMSA in Honduras.


The information shared was generated by work done in the fields by truly visionary farmers at COMSA who have developed natural methods and techniques to fight off the dreaded leaf rust. For more information visit Monika's blog: http://coopcoffees.coop/this-guy-has-rocked-my-world/



GROW AHEAD MOBILE! Scan this QR code (any QR reader app will do), it'll take you to GA's mobile page where you can become a grower by lending monies towards the financing of a coffee container from one of our coffee producer partners! Want to become part of a truly revolutionary financing model but haven't got a smartphone? You can still make a loan online at www.growahead.org (remember to select Alternative Grounds as your affiliated partner). Coffee addicts, drinkers, fairtraders and farmers unite!


  • 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, Saturday and Sunday 8:30 - 5:30.
  • In Parkdale, at the GOOD CATCH GENERAL STORE (1556 Queen W. at Sorauren), and the WEST END FOOD COOP (1229 Queen W. at Dufferin). And on Bloor West at the NUTHOUSE (1256A Bloor St. West), and Coffee Guitar-land at 1280 Bloor St. W. (E of Lansdowne on the north side)
  • 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!!

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


Read the latest on our Coop's Coffee Farmer Resilience Fund! CoopCoffees "is excited to be entering into Round-Two of the CFRF together with Root Capital, Progreso Foundation and other industry allies. Eleven of our partnering Latin American producer cooperatives have benefitted from this funding to improve their capacity to confront and remedy the impact of leaf rust in their fields". Get the full scoop here, www.coopcoffees.coop/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CFRF-Summary-visual-report.pdf

leaf rust

"My farm was beautiful; it was big.. Coffee rust appeared and wiped out everything," Edwin Diaz (Guatemalan coffee farmer). Cooperative Coffee's Roya Fund, which we started last year, continues to support our partners! As the article featured in NPR's the Salt indicates, we can not underestimate the devastating effects this fungus is having on communities across Central and into South America.  Kudos go out to all the organic innovation intiated at the farm level by so many of our partners, including those at COMSA who have been leaders in teaching other farmers best practices. Read the full article here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/28/335293974/rust-devastates-guatemalas-prime-coffee-crop-and-its-farmers

 “For coffee farmers who are dealing with this rust crisis ... if they don’t have coffee to sell, they don’t eat,” - Charlie Fishbein ( The Coffee Exchange) speaks about the Roya Crisis. Read a great piece written by one of our own Coop Coffees Monika by clicking on this link! This article recently published Canada's Media Co-op, an online magazine that covers "news from the grassroots", addresses the crisis impact on farmers. We are happy to report that through our Roya premium fund and with the help of Root Capital, we at Coop Coffees have delivered around $300,000 to our Latin American partners working to renovate and/or resist the effect of roya.



Was treated to a tour of the Lush production facility during a community open-house recently. Kudos to them for their emphasis on fresh, creative, local and sustainable. I was particularly impressed with their garden and glitter made of seaweed!! Shine on!!

Fair World Project does it again!!  "but lets not pretend there is any correlation between high quality coffee and making the world a better place. If you want transformation, get involved with the fairtrade movement" (emphasis mine) To read the full article, click on the link. Kudos for plain speak!

Cooperative Coffees AGM goes Solar! Our friends and partners at Kickapoo Coffee are hosting this year's shindig and to make this an extra special occassion, our general meeting will be the first 100% solar powered event in the coop's history. Kickapoo recently became one of the first commercial coffee roasters in the US powered entirely by solar energy! Read all about TJ's and Caleb's journey towards reducing their facility's carbon footprint here http://dailycoffeenews.com/2015/08/06/kickapoo-coffee-goes-full-solar-challenges-other-coffee-companies-to-do-the-same/

Must read article: Specialty Coffee’s Place on the ‘New Global Food Frontier’ by Michael Sheridan, www.dailycoffeenews.com/2015/07/21/specialty-coffees-place-on-the-new-global-food-frontier.


massey1November winds bring MASSEY COLLEGE to our Spotlight! Located at 4 Devonshire Place (a few blocks south and east of St. George and Bloor Street), Massey College is "a graduate students residential community affiliated with, but independent from, the University of Toronto". It was funded in 1963 by Vincent Massey with a mandate to offer an intellectually stimulating and thriving place where respect, congeniality and a life commitment to learning would be observed.

For the past few years, the College has been offering their residents and guests AG fairtrade and organic brews both served during breakfast and lunch hours in their stunning Ondaatje Hall, and during their formal dinners as well as other catered events/lectures hosted on its grounds. Massey2Food services are only available to members/students during school session and non-event hours. Please note that several of these facilities are available for rent to the public during the summer months. Booking and catering details are posted here: www.masseycollege.ca/facilities/catering

Massey College is a definite stop on a walking tour exploring Toronto's architectural finest. Both the exterior and interior of the building compliment the college's air of sober grandness. The College, in collaboration with the CBC and the House of Anansi Press, co-hosts Canada's respected and long established Massey Lectures. For more information about upcoming lectures, visit: www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/massey-lectures

For other information on special events open to the public and programs offered, go to www.masseycollege.ca and follow @MasseyCollege.

massey3 massey4 massey5


 Sunday December 6th it is the 3rd annual Holiday Food, Art and Craft Show at West End Food Coop! 1229 Queen St. W. Get a jump on you-know-what and shop local!!

Save the date!!! It's Casa Canadiense and Pueblito's Brunch and Auction!! November 8th, 11am-3pm at the Lithuanian House, 1573 Bloor Street West. Buy your tickets by calling 416-642-5781 or visit www.casapueblito.org

boardHave you heard that Toronto's 1st tool library is open in the basement of PARC? (1499 Queen St.W) They are taking donations and looking for volunteers. You can purchase a membership and borrow all the tools needed for that long-delayed project! Find out more at www.irbe.org. You can also call 647-965-5604.

Beit Zatoun Looking for stimulating and mind expanding activities in the city, make sure to review BZ's impressive calendar of events at www.beitzatoun.org/cms/events.aspx for concerts/recitals, art exhibits, workshops, talks and film screenings. Looks like May is going to be jam-packed!!

There will be food! The Sorauren Farmers Market is still happening every Monday (indoors, at the Fieldhouse).


FTcityInterested in learning more about Fairtrade, Organics and Social Justice? Make sure to check our Resources page for more info and great links!

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

A must read: Fairtrade Manitoba has published online a piece written by Linda. Thought provoking and insightful, this is something you must check out, www.fairtrademanitoba.ca/why/profile/an-alternative-perspective-on-the-benefits-of-certified-fair-trade . And 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!!!

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.equal exchange

Remember, if you want to become better acquainted with our fairtrade pricing policy, check out the Fairtrade section of this website. We are always on the look-out for great ideas - things that partner well with us and what we are trying to accomplish through Alternative Grounds. So feel free to drop us a line and share suggestions with our staff.

Also, check out our Greenstuff section for tips and suggestions to help us soften our collective and individual carbon footprint! In this section you'll find neat and fun ideas for the use and re-use of our burlap/jute bags, paper bags, etc.  And we bet your compost could use a little of our coffee chaff to lighten its load!! If you are indeed interested, give Linda a call at 416-534-6335

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!!