Transparency is one of our key values at Blue Bear Coffee Company. We are therefore dedicated to being as open and honest with our customers as possible. Below are answers to questions you may have in respect to the running of this company.
How can you afford to give 100% of your profits away?
The soul purpose of Blue Bear Coffee Company is to raise money and awareness for the fight to end human trafficking and modern day slavery. In order to do so, we give 100% of our net profit away to organisations effecting sustained and systematic change in this global issue. In order to maximise this revenue, we operate as lean a business model as possible, which includes running operations virtually, as opposed to renting an office space and hiring freelance contractors, as opposed to running an expensive payroll. The Founder and CEO of Blue Bear also refrains from taking any salary or dividends from the business, in order to maximise its profitability. A percentage of our sales revenue is used to purchase the materials, coffee and services required to run the company, as well as a budget for future investment in the business. At the end of the financial year, with great pleasure, we give 100% of our net profit away to our beneficiary partners. In addition to this, we look to raise as much money as possible through fundraising campaigns to raise money for our charity partners.
How do you ensure that nobody has been exploited in your supply chain?
As well as using our profits to fight human trafficking, we’re also committed to sourcing our coffee from slavery-free supply chains. In order to achieve this, we sell a selection of coffees chosen according to their provenance and the efforts made by our partners at Clifton Coffee Roasters, to forge direct trade arrangements with farms across the developing world. In most cases, Clifton visit the farms they buy from on sourcing trips to develop the relationship with the producer and ensure the staff are being fairly paid and well treated. Coffee, like gold, gas or minerals, is traded as a commodity on the stock market, referred to as the C-Market. The current cost of coffee (Jan 2020) on the C-Market is at one of the lowest values of all time, making it cheaper for the big companies, who buy commodity grade coffee, but significantly worse for the farming communities. At this price, in many cases, the coffee is being sold at less than its cost of its production and such circumstances lead to an increase in human trafficking and modern day slavery. This is why we only source coffee through direct trade arrangements, where a price has been agreed with the farmer themselves. In some cases, the price we pay the farmer is as much as 30 times higher than others.
*We stock have one coffee (Colombia Bella Vista De Caf), which is supplied to Clifton by Café Direct, who also have a distinguished reputation for their ethical direct trade sourcing.
(*Nov 2020) Our El Salvadorian and Panamanian coffee is sourced via our roasting partners Clifton CR and Falcon specialty exporters. You can read Falcon's modern slavery statement here.
Our Ethiopian Coffee is sourced via our roasting partners Clifton CR and Olam Specialty Exporters. Read about Olam’s philosophy and values here.
Our Colombian and Uganda coffee is sourced via our roasting partners Clifton CR and Volcafé specialty exporters. You can read about The Volcafé Way of ethical coffee sourcing here.
Our Brazilian coffee is sourced via our roasting partners Clifton CR and DR Wakefield specialty exporters. Read about their commitment to social responsibility in their value chain here.
How do your beneficiaries spend the money given to them?
At the end of our first year of business (Dec 2019) we will calculate our profits and split the resultant amount across three established, registered charities in the anti trafficking space. (See more) Our beneficiaries will be able to spend that money how they chose. As our company grows, so too will our profits and our capacity to engage more specifically with how that money is spent. It is our hope that in the coming months and years we will be responsible for funding the salaries of investigators, aftercare workers, lawyers and community educators in the UK and around the world.
Giving to date:
We were pleased to break even in our first financial year. We did not however generate any profits to donate to our charity partners. Despite this we were able to raise £1500 in donations which we donated in its entirety to IJM, Justice and Care and Unseen during a match funding campaign which saw the impact double to £3000.
You can see our company accounts at: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/11592634
Modern Slavery Statement
Blue Bear Coffee Co. exists to fight slavery and support survivors. We do this by giving our profits to established and effective organisations with a proven history of bringing about systematic reform and scalable change to countries tackling this issue. We also support these organisations using our social media platforms to fundraise on their behalf and share information about their work and the signs of modern slavery in our communities. Every online Blue Bear customer receives a pamphlet on how to spot the signs of slavery in with their coffee order. We also produce a podcast which is available on most audio streaming platforms, sharing the stories of individuals who have spent their lives fighting different forms of injustice.
In addition to the above, Blue Bear takes every measure to reduce the possibility of slavery in our value chain, by partnering with experienced, ethical coffee sourcing exporters who have a demonstrated commitment to putting people above profit. Together with our coffee roasting partner (Clifton Coffee Roasters) we have chosen to supply coffees that are having a positive social impact at source, in the coffee growing communities. *Such as the school in Werka Wuri, Ethiopia that is being developed to provide access to education for hundreds of local school age children. We also pay significantly higher than the fair-trade minimum rate for our coffee. *Our current coffee offering is on average over 100% above the fair-trade rate (2020)
All of the coffee exporters we source from carry out a combination of internal and external (third party) audits to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the staff responsible for producing our coffee.
At Blue Bear, we believe fervently in the protection of international human rights, with the right to life (Art 2) and the freedom from slavery (Art 4) being sacrosanct across all that we do. By paying a truly fair price and ensuring the administration and auditing of safe working conditions for coffee farmers, we are protecting the human rights of those we rely on in order to bring our product to market.