Building a coffee industry that
works for everyone.
works for everyone.
North Star was established with this purpose and a vision for a more certain future for coffee, free from the instability of the commodity coffee market and resilient to the impacts of climate change. The fact is there is a question mark over the future of coffee thanks to hundreds of years of unbalanced power dynamics and environmental volatility leaving us with an industry that does not work for all those it serves.
Why Should you Care?
It is very evident to us that if we are to build a business that stands the test of time, we must work to safeguard the future of our valued suppliers as, without them, there is no future for coffee.
But why is all of this important to you? We know you like a good cup of coffee but why should you care more deeply about where the coffee you drink comes from?
As coffee roasters, shop owners and consumers, we are the most privileged part of this supply chain. We have the ability to pay a price that either sustains and fairly rewards those responsible for producing coffee or that exploits, upholding a cycle of debt and poverty. In reading this, we want you to understand the immense power you hold in your ability to decide where you buy your coffee from. We know that some of this content is heavy and at times, hard to hear. It is not our intention to take the fun out of coffee, we truly love what we do. We just think you deserve to know how complex coffee can be and how much there is at stake. It can be a rewarding, emotional and at times heartbreaking industry to work within but one we think is worth safeguarding as a world without coffee is pretty unimaginable for us!
We are a certified B-Corp.
B Corp is a certification that assesses the overall ethics and sustainability of a business across 5 areas: how the business is governed, the employee experience, environmental practices, how customers are treated and how supply partnerships are formed and nurtured. The idea is that not only are businesses verified to be having the impact they say they are having but they become a part of a movement focused on constant improvement, sharing practices and ideas to challenge the 'normal' way of doing business.
Crucially, certified B Corps are legally obliged to exist for the interests of stakeholders not shareholders. This means the business must make decisions that will benefit all of those it impacts as opposed to prioritising profit above all else. It means people and planet first.
The world is more challenging than ever but we argue that now is the time to take a step up. It is more important than ever to look after our team, community and environment, and we firmly believe we will have a healthier business as a result.
Our vision is for a more certain future for coffee and an industry in which everyone participating can thrive.
This means developing a strategy for growth that is centred around purchasing our beans in a manner that allows our partners to build resilient business models. We therefore built this ‘Theory of Change’ to organise our way of working, guide decision making going forwards and ensure we are working as effectively and impactfully as we can. It is our working blueprint for the further development of North Star to be referred back to and to sense check our direction of travel, ensuring any growth we achieve is still building impact. It is very much a work in progress designed to support continuous learning and development as we strive to prove a quality, impact-led approach improves the viability of business models across the supply chain, creating a more certain future for coffee.
Our Theory of Change.
Business models in the coffee supply chain are unstable and at risk.
We use our own coffee shop to develop a best practice example for quality, impact-led business models within the coffee shop sector.
We create wholesale relationships based on longevity, support and community which enable mutual success and business viability across the supply chain.
We make it easy for consumers to understand the problem and buy quality, impact-led coffee.
We purchase coffee at a sustainable price that covers the costs of production and enables the producer to make a profit.
We supplement our purchases with support for initiatives focused on climate change resilience or youth/female empowerment in the communities we buy from.
We work to empower coffee farmers with market knowledge they can utilise to negotiate and to create a viable business model.
A quality, impact-led approach improves the viability of business models across the supply chain, creating a more certain future for coffee.
El Salvador Project
With the help of export partners Caravela and Maria herself, we created a 3-stage infrastructure improvement project designed to bring about lot separation, better quality and consistency, efficient use of labour, lower emissions and ultimately, greater access to more income.
We have sponsored the preparation of 8 hectares of land which has since been planted with 20,000 coffee trees to be distributed amongst 20 young people from the local area. They will be supported with harvesting assistance, organic compost and agronomy training in an effort to establish opportunities for them in their hometown – removing the need to migrate to urban areas in search of what are thought to be opportunities that will offer a more certain and viable future than coffee.