Ethical Bean: From Crop to Cup

Ethical Bean makes delicious coffee, filled with purpose. Ethical Bean Coffee is a leading roaster of 100 percent Fairtrade certified organic and traceable coffee, headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The motto at Ethical Bean is ‘if it’s not just. better., we just don’t do it.’

The driving component of Fairtrade coffee is that farmers receive a fair price for their crop, cascading into community benefits. At the same time, Fairtrade farmers often have increased access to enhanced, more environmentally- friendly farming techniques, which reap environmental, community, crop and ultimately consumer benefits as well.

Roasting this way since 2003, Ethical Bean recognizes the importance of accountability, transparency and traceability, all the way from the crop to the cup, so also shares this information with its consumers. Consumers can simply scan the unique QR code on the back of every bag with their camera app, and learn a host of interesting facts:

  • Where the Fairtrade co-op(s) that grew the beans inside are located (e.g. Peru, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras or Ethiopia)
  • When the coffee was roasted
  • Who roasted the coffee
  • How the coffee scores on body, sweetness or other qualities


Since 2004, Ethical Bean has also provided more than $150,000 to Child Aid, a non-profit dedicated to improving literacy in Guatemala. Child Aid’s FUNDIT program provides children in Guatemala with the finances they need for school registration, school supplies, uniforms, and more. Ethical Bean’s financial support provided these types of provisions to more than 560 primary, middle, and high school students. In 2010, the FUNDIT Scholarship Program was renamed the Ethical Bean Scholarship Fund. Today, the partnership expands to the larger Child Aid literacy coaching program dedicated to “creating classrooms that work,” in more than 100 elementary schools in three districts (provinces) in rural Guatemala. Learn more about Child Aid.

Since 2011 Ethical Bean has also donated $10,000 annually to the Guatemala- based Project Somos Village, an organization dedicated to helping at-risk children and their mothers escape the poverty cycle through education, skills building and a healthy food supply. Learn more about Project Somos.

Bag Return Program

Ethical Bean also facilitates a bag return program where consumers can return 12 bags in exchange for a free fresh bag of Ethical Bean coffee. Bags are collected at the head roastery, and then sent to Terracycle, which specializes in zero- waste solutions for difficult-to-recycle waste streams. Terracycle cleans, shreds, and pelletizes the plastic, and then integrates it into plastic items already in production, such as park benches.

Renewable Energy Commitment

Ethical Bean addresses the environmental footprint of its production through a partnership with Bullfrog Power by purchasing 100 percent renewable natural gas and biofuel for the head roastery and vehicle fleet, respectively. This has displaced over 950 tonnes of carbon to date. The company also measures its carbon footprint annually using Climate Smart.