The Cup That Counts
DRINK UP, IT’S GOOD COFFEE
Paying better, building real relationships and sharing risk. It all sounds a little inconvenient. Inseparable since birth, The Cup That Counts entered this big ol’ world with Commonfolk in 2013. The world wasn’t too dissimilar then. Supply chains were still dominated by commodity markets rife with exploitation and inequality. Huge faceless systems built for the convenience of the end consumer preserve the status quo. There is no greater example of this than the story of coffee from crop to cup. Coffee producers in developing nations have born the brunt of its greed. The Cup That Counts is our avenue to build and support a coffee industry that is fair for everyone involved. Producer through to consumer, we’re taking responsibility to invest in a life-giving value chain. We’re learning the opposite is true of the inconvenience myth, as we see the communities we are a part of positively developing. Our work is never complete but we remain steadfast to the ‘inconvenient’ truth that every cup counts.
“THIS IS THE CUP THAT COUNTS MANIFEST!”
Together, the Commonfolk community has raised $258,182.07
Read the latest update for most recent funds raised and donated. Last updated 10th May, 2022.
MEET OUR SUPPORTED PARTNERS
What does life changing coffee taste like? Get some ZB coffee in your mug.
Zukuka Bora was established to equip and empower communities on the slopes of Mt Elgon, Uganda, by producing top quality Arabica coffee. Through no shortage of smiles, sweat and challenges, their fourth season has been the most successful yet and we’re stoked to share their pride with you via six different lots.
This last season brought better prices and bonuses to over one thousand farming families for their coffee cherry, and more than one hundred folks gained meaningful employment. The story goes on as they set out to also holistically tackle the issues faced by their communities. This has included building soil health, mobilising community health promotors and establishing savings groups. Epic.
We’re mighty proud that Commonfolk is a foundational and ongoing partner with Zukuka Bora. We’re family and growing together.
Speaking of good eggs, the Commonfolk community has: Donated over $150K, all of which is contributing to ongoing infrastructure, equipment and training. And, purchased over 40 tons of green coffee at fair prices, directly contributing to economic development on Mt Elgon.
Birthed in the Tanti Estate in Mornington with a vision to champion the strengths of the community, Home Ground is a vocational training cafe bridging the gap between local unemployed youth and the opportunity for a career in our region's hospitality industry.
As a social enterprise, foundational and ongoing partnership with Commonfolk through donated freshly roasted coffee and The Cup That Counts funds has ensured they can continue to usher tangible change for our community. Since starting in 2018 with four young people, Home Ground has now had over 38 young people walk through its doors and benefit from their hospitality training program. The real deal.
Just a really decent stone’s throw away from HQ, be sure to pop around to say hi to Franki and the team and sip some excellent coffee. They’re doing incredible work and their house made treats are the best in the biz.
Shared Value Project is The Cup That Counts newest supported partner and is focused on the well being of coffee farmers and their workers in Nicaragua. SVP is the brainchild of Ben Whitaker who is the co-founder of the Social Opportunity Group and The Final Step cafe in South Yarra, which he has now passed onto Commonfolk.
In 2020 Ben moved onto the El Árbol coffee farm in the Nueva Segovia region of Nicaragua. He spent the first months working with green coffee exporter Bridazul, learning about the logistics involved in the production and processing of coffee. During this period he participated in regular farmwork and developed an understanding of the challenges faced by labour hire.
Simple things like preparing meals inside small workers' could become incredibly challenging because of the smoke emitted from poorly designed stoves and the inadequate ventilation of the buildings. SVP is committing to building efficient and non toxic biomass-stoves in the houses of the coffee workers. Local workers will be trained to build these biomass-stoves out of locally available and sustainable materials.
HOW CAN THIS BE
Since day dot, 20c from every cup of Commonfolk coffee sold has been transferred to The Cup That Counts. Add in the tips from our kickass cafe team, constant fundraising events over these years and contributions from some of our incredible wholesale coffee partners. We’re talking community.
Through the years we have connected with good people in various parts of the world to build long standing commitments in our value chain for tangible positive development. This began by being a foundational partner for Zukuka Bora Coffee Company, with the necessary USD20,000 to buy initial land and infrastructure being donated by our Commonfolk community through The Cup That Counts. Year on year a large proportion of The Cup That Counts raised funds are directly transferred to current Zukuka Bora projects that are directly improving the coffee quality Commonfolk then purchases at fair prices in commercial transactions. Tangible economic empowerment.
Fundraising events have been spontaneous over the past eight years. Latte art smackdowns and Sunday sessions, to Christmas Eve olliebollen and Zukuka Bora fresh crop launches. These will always continue! In 2021 we’ll have the inaugural The Cup That Counts day on the Queen’s Birthday weekend, with $1 per coffee sold directly contributed to Zukuka Bora projects. Be sure to get to your local participating Commonfolk dealer, and look out for the donation tins in the wild.
READ OUR LATEST BLOGS
Do you have questions about TCTC? Want to get involved some how?
Have a suggestion for how we can develop our impact? Want to know your closest Commonfolk coffee dealer?
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