Whitehorse World Fair Trade Challenge!
posted May 11 2016
Visit our cafe on Friday May 13, Saturday May 14 or Sunday May 15 to take part in the Whitehorse World Fair Trade Challenge! This challenge is one way to raise awareness that climate change is already affecting the earth we all share - particularly the farmers behind the beans we love
Fair Trade coffee producers in Latin America are currently being severely affected by the spread of the leaf rust disease which is affecting over 50% of the total coffee growing area in Central America, and within the range of 30-40% in some South American countries. Climate change has been identified as a key factor facilitating the outbreak. Fairtrade producers are also being affected in Africa. Unfortunately, the picture of the future does not appear promising. In fact, several modeling studies predict that by 2050 the productivity of coffee and other products will severely be affected and production in some areas might even disappear.
With your help, we can combat the effects of climate change, and have the chance to keep on growing better coffee for your cup!
Thanks to Fairtrade Canada for organizing this great event! You can find more information here.
Subscribe to one of our monthly coffee subscriptions!
posted October 26 2015
We know you love our coffee, and we decided that we want to make it easier for you to always have delicious fair trade coffee in your home. No-one likes getting up in the morning to find out that the last few beans were used for yesterday's cup of coffee... Our solution? You can now sign up for a coffee subscription - sign up once, and receive four bags of fresh roasted beans each month!
We created six different subscriptions:
1- Seasonal Coffees This packages includes the freshest single origin coffees & delicious blends from around the world. Each month, our roaster will select the best coffees that just arrived in our roastery, and we'll also include a bag of our current seasonal blend.
2- Dark Roasts Do you always pick the dark roasts when purchasing your coffee? Now you only need to click once, and we will select four different dark roast coffees for you each month. Surprises guaranteed with a combination of single origin coffees and dark blends.
3- Medium Roasts Let us surprise you with our wonderful single origin coffees and medium blends. We have a great selection of coffees for those people who love milder flavours and plenty of caffeine.
4- Single Origin Our roastery features many coffees from around the world. Different growing regions and countries mean a great variety of flavours. This subscription includes only single origin coffees so you can clearly taste the differences between various coffees.
5- The Decaf Plan This subscription if for those of you who can do without caffeine, but not without coffee. The decaffeinated coffees included in this subscription are mountain water processed or CO2 processed. We'll include both single origin coffees and our best decaf blends.
6- Roaster's Choice A great choice for coffee lovers who love surprises! This subscription includes three caffeinated & one decaffeinated coffee each month. A selection of single origin coffees, wonderful blends & seasonal coffees.
Click here to subscribe to one or more of the monthly subscription packages!
Cooperative Coffees is hiring!
posted July 17 2015
Our importing organisation Cooperative Coffees is excited to announce a career opportunity for a General Manager who will lead this green coffee importing cooperative in helping to create a fairer, more transparent and sustainable system of coffee trade which benefits farmer growers, their families and communities throughout the world.
Please go to Cooperative Coffees' website for details about this exciting opportunity. Applications need to be postmarked before October 1, 2015.
Summer Opening Hours
posted April 29 2015
Bean North's cafe-in-the-woods is open every day from 11am to 5pm.
Bean North launches new online store
posted February 03 2015
Bean North Coffee is excited to introduce you to our new online store!! Please click here to start shopping for delicious organic fair trade coffee and other treats. We hope you will enjoy this new online shopping experience.
Winter Opening Hours
posted December 23 2014
Our cafe is open 5 days a week! Come visit us between 11am and 5pm Wednesday through Sunday, to enjoy some quality time in our cafe in the woods. Our menu includes delcious espresso, baked goods, homemade soups, and grilled paninis. We're a a great post-playing-in-the-snow destination!
Christmas at the Bean - arts & craft fair!
posted November 14 2014
Bean North is proud to present our very first arts & craft fair. Come visit us on Saturday December 6th between 11am and 5pm for some Christmas shopping!
Subscribe to monthly coffee subscriptions featuring Bean North coffee!
posted March 21 2014
The CoffeeCollective offers monthly coffee subscriptions and gift packages. CoffeeCollective was set up specifically to aid in the discovery and enjoyment of some of the many independent coffee roasters across Canada. They love pairing Canadian coffee drinkers with Canadian coffee roasters who specialize in sustainable coffee roasting.
The Roasters Pack creates an exciting monthly package showcasing independent roasters from around the world. Since the start, they have met some very unique roasters who have inspired them and elevated The Roasters Pack to an experience that goes beyond the beans.
Find more information on www.coffeecollective.ca and www.theroasterspack.com
Cooperatives and organic farming shine a light in the “International Year of Family Farming”
posted February 21 2014
In the midst of a veritable production crisis for Central and South American farmers hit by coffee leaf rust, or Roya as it’s called in Spanish, consumers and coffee buyers should be paying a lot more for their pound of beans. But instead, shelf prices remain stable and prices paid to farmers continue to drop.
An estimated 70% of the world’s total coffee supply is produced by some 10 million small-scale farmers in 80 coffee-producing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The vast majority of these farmers live in conditions of extreme poverty – lacking access to clean water, basic education, decent housing and all too often adequate food on the table. Add to the mix that most coffee-producing countries have economic policies that favour and incentivize large-scale production and trade – thus, leaving small-scale farmers struggling to pull themselves out of this economic abyss with limited access to basic market tools and competing within the international coffee market, and its distorting, coffee trade rule-book that distances price from costs of production.
Now add the current Roya outbreak, ravaging Latin American coffee regions and you get a picture of the crisis facing small-scale farmers! Roya, a naturally occurring fungus in coffee fields, found the perfect climatic conditions during the 2012 – 2013 growing season to reproduce in epidemic proportions. With peaks of abnormally high temperatures and prolonged periods of excessive humidity, combined with vulnerable soils and trees, the orange-glow fungus spread like wildfire. Roya attacks the leaves and primary source of photosynthesis of the coffee plant, which not only affects ripening of the current-season cherries, but can also cause the flowers of the following season to drop, and depending on the intensity of the infestation can kill a branch or the entire tree – thus affecting the current harvest, and harvest yields for many years to come. The initial coffee industry response was a call to summit (April 2013 in Guatemala), during which the top industry influencers huddled, discussed and eventually proclaimed a multi-pronged Roya Response Action Plan (yet to be implemented). Miguel Medina, Vice Chairman of the Guatemalan National Coffee Association Anacafé and one of the Summit organizers bluntly set the stage: “I don’t know how organic coffee can have a future. There is nothing that works to control rust in the field and I am not seeing anyone in the market offering more to create additional incentives for organic farmers.”
Armando García, Executive Secretary of the regional umbrella organization PROMECAFE added: “Roya is a symptom of the serious problems our coffee sector faces in the region.”
In particular, the current outbreak underscores the vulnerability of small-scale, coffee farmers, dependent upon this single cash-crop and burdened by the historical under-investment in their sector. With aging trees and tired soils, increasingly erratic climatic conditions, a lack of access to information about innovative and effective practices that are appropriate to their cultural, geographical and economic realities, and the chronic lack of financial support from their local governments or from national or international markets, small-scale farmers vying for sustainable production face an endless, uphill battle. But while Mr. Medina and so many industry “experts” dismiss the potential for organic solutions, members of the small-scale, farmer organization Café Organico Marcala (COMSA) in Honduras watched the slow decay of their neighbors’ conventional (chemically treated) trees – while they were busy harvesting a bumper crop of prime-quality, organic coffee from their fields. Unfortunately, the experiences of farmers like these COMSA members are not being showcased at high-level summits. Instead of acknowledging and strengthening successful organic practices proven on the land, coffee farmers are pushed to quick-fix solutions. Preying on farmers’ fears and desperation, coffee industry influencers, research institutes, governmental agencies and some of the largest agro-industrial companies in the world, are promoting chemical solution packages – which are expected to be fast-acting, but also dangerous both to human health and to the micro-biological diversity needed for long-term, sustainable coffee production. Millions of dollars are invested in genetic and germplasm research to create new coffee “super-varietals” resistant to the fungus – but which are not necessarily adapted to organic practices, nor readily reproduced by the farmers themselves, thereby creating further economic dependence. And finally, many traders will simply seek out replacement coffee sources from countries not yet affected by the epidemic – leaving Latin American coffee farmers devastated by Roya to fend for themselves.
As Cooperative Coffees Producer Relations Manager, I had the opportunity to organize our annual Roaster-Producer assembly at the COMSA headquarters in Honduras. This event, our version of a “Roya Summit,” was intended to demonstrate that organic solutions, true to the economic and cultural realities of small-scale farmers, are the most viable, long-term path for their sustainable livelihood. Together with some 65 Latin American, coffee-farmer representatives, coffee roasters, importer and allied organizations, we united around the crisis to talk about production, quality, price, and Roya recovery. Cooperative Coffees is an organic, green coffee importing coop owned by 23 independent and locally based, artisan coffee roasters across Canada and the USA. For our members, who founded the cooperative on values dedicated to fair, direct and sustainable partnership with small-scale farmer organizations, simply substituting coffees from other regions was not an option.
“I’m as excited about seeking out great coffee as the next guy,” says Joe Lozano, roast/owner of Third Coast Coffee and founding member of Cooperative Coffees. “But we need to talk about the true costs of achieving that. And at this point, I’m more concerned about feeling confident that farmers I partner with can get through the current crisis.
“The meeting we just held, and hearing about all that farmers are going through – only makes me more resolute in my belief that roasters and producers need to work together, now more than ever, if we want to guarantee a stable supply of great quality coffee in the future.” Lozano added. “If you’re only looking for that perfect cup in this current context, you’re not seeing the big picture.” Our cooperative summit was led by farmer experts and intended to help them see, touch, learn and exchange information with each other about the innovative and highly successful organic solutions that many small-scale farmers are implementing to resist and/or recover from the current crisis. “We frequently talk about nutrients,” COMSA organic promoter Victor Contreras explained. “But we often forget about the life-giving energies found in minerals and micro-organisms. Here at COMSA, we are learning to create a model of agriculture in harmony with the laws of nature to feed and nurture the life/energy in the soil.” The current Roya Epidemic is expected to cause an estimated 2.3 million 60-kilo sack loss in production, or $550 million of financial loss in farmer income, and more than 500,000 harvest-related jobs eliminated. But Roya is only one of many illness or pest infestations that could wreak havoc on a small-scale farmer’s harvest. Antracnosis, leaf wilt, leaf spot, berry borers or a long list of nematode or other viral illnesses could become the next coffee crisis. Innovative, small-scale farmers are demonstrating that their best defense is to increase the life and nutrition in the soil and the vitality, and thereby the natural defenses of the trees themselves, through identification and implementation of intensive, organic practices. Small-scale farmers around the world are proving viable, what “Green Revolution” advocates have repeatedly declared “impossible.”
FYI, 2014 is the IYFF!
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has declared 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) in order to raise the profile on family and small-scale farming and focus world attention on its “significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.” FAO goals for the 2014 IYFF is to “reposition family farming at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies in national agendas by identifying gaps and opportunities to promote a shift towards a more equal and balanced development... to promote broad discussion and cooperation at the national, regional and global levels to increase awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by smallholders and help identify efficient ways to support family farmers.” Sadly, the coffee industry is doing just the opposite. It’s time to give a voice to small-scale farmers. It’s also time for a coffee industry overhaul. For the sake of the millions of farmer families who depend on this single crop for their economic survival, we could turn the current crisis into a unique opportunity to create the new coffee paradigm. We can already see that integrated, organic alternatives to manage a gamut of production challenges, are not only possible – but also absolutely necessary for the long-term survival of small-scale coffee farmer families and their communities.
And the end consumers and coffee buyers who appreciate a fine cup of coffee, should get ready and become willing to compensate this hard work and high-quality product with the fair and sustainable price it deserves!
Holiday Hours at Bean North’s Cafe in the Woods
posted December 20 2013
Come on out for a visit to our cozy cafe this holiday season! Opening hours are:
Monday December 23
11am – 4pm
Tuesday December 24
11am – 4pm
Friday December 27
11am – 5pm
Saturday December 28
11am – 5pm
Sunday December 29
11am – 5pm
Monday December 30
11am – 5pm
Tuesday December 31
11am – 5pm
Wednesday January 1
11am – 5pm
Grow Ahead at Bean North: loan some, gain some
posted December 06 2013
On December 14 and 15 between 11am and 5pm, Michael and Helen will be in the Bean North cafe to assist you in making a loan to Grow Ahead. Your loan will help the pre-financing of a shipment of coffee from Apecaform in the San Marcos region of Guatemala. If you make a loan that weekend, you can gain more than just a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Give $25 and receive a free latte!
Give $50 and get a free 1/2lb of San Marcos coffee!
Give $100 and receive a free 1lb of San Marcos coffee!
We would love to see you!
Grow Ahead update!
posted November 22 2013
Grow Ahead is collecting loans to finance coffee from APECAFORM in GUATEMALA. Loans come from consumers like YOU! Coffee farmers in Guatemala are dealing with roya (leaf rust) disease. This is a very aggressive disease that attacks the coffee trees and - in most cases – kills them. NOW MORE THAN EVER, we want to do everything we can to allow APECAFORM to export coffee and help them get back on their feet.
MAKE A $25 or $50 LOAN TODAY ON GROWAHEAD.ORG and mention Bean North as your closest store. Feel awesome and help Grow Ahead raise $50,000 by December 31, 2013!!
Little Free Library
posted October 04 2013
Bean North has a Little Free Library!
Just a year after the first Little Free Library in the Yukon opened in Riverdale, Bean North opens a second Whitehorse branch. Poet Kathy Munro and author Jessica Simon initiated the project. A lot of people come to Bean North to read or write, so it seemed like a natural location for a library. Michael King, owner of Bean North, is thrilled to host the branch at the café. Along with general interest books, Little Free Library #7713 features a poetry section and a selection of French, German and Spanish titles. The Whitehorse Poetry Society and local writers gladly helped to stock the shelves with the first library books.
Little Free Libraries are a place for the community to read, discuss and “Take a Book, Leave a Book.” Books are “always a gift, never for sale.” The movement was started in 2009 by Todd Bol and Rick Brooks of Wisconsin with the goal to promote literacy, foster community and open more than 2510 branches, the number built by Andrew Carnegie.
More information Little Free Library
posted September 13 2013
The days are getting shorter and cooler, the Yukon fall is in full swing. Bean North's cafe opening hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-5pm. Come visit our cozy cafe and treat yourself to an exquisite espresso!
Garden Cafe Opening Hours
posted August 09 2013
Bean North's lovely Garden Cafe is open daily from 11am until 5pm. Come visit us and enjoy delicious espresso drinks, lunch and freshly baked goods in the summer sunshine!
Our cafe is closed on Monday August 19 for Discovery Day and Monday September 2 for Labour Day.
Food Day Canada
posted August 02 2013
Join Bean North as we join Food Day Canada in celebrating importance of using Canadian ingredients and supporting Canadian farmers and fishers who produce them on Sat. Aug. 3.
A new name for La FEM
posted February 12 2013
La FEM coffee has a new name - Las Diosas - La FEM. La FEM has transferred governance of its coffee activities to Las Diosas. La FEM continues with their advocacy for women's education, health and reproductive rights, works to end domestic violence and actively recruits more women producers in the coffee coops now governed by Las Diosas.
The women we met at Las Diosas are fiercely proud of their independence and their ability to provide for their families as a result of being farmers of fair trade and organic coffee.
However, they've had a tough year and shared their deep sadness with us - many women have lost up to 40 to 60% of this year's coffee harvest due to the coffee rust or roya that has spread across the coffee growing regions of Central and South America. The women of Las Diosis not know how this will affect next year's harvest and are extremely worried, as they believe next year's harvest will even have higher losses.
The coffee plants affected by coffee rust have to be cut down and new trees planted. And, it takes three to five years to for coffee plants to produce coffee cherries for harvest.
The Nicaraguan government is coming up with strategies for the coffee rust and the women are worried those strategies are not environmentally friendly which would negatively affect their farms and their families. Las Diosas believes strongly that you cannot be empowered without respecting the environment.
We'll keep you updated on how these remarkable women fare in the wake of the coffee rust. They're still figuring out exactly how devastating the impact is and despite these unbelievable challenges remain hopeful for the future. The women are truly an inspiration.
You can read more about Las Diosas - LaFEM on http://www.beannorth.com/our-beans/producing-partners-and-locations/central-america/nicaragua
New beans on the way to our roastery!
posted February 01 2013
This amazing coffee has been in the works for a couple of seasons. Our farmer friends in Coyona Peru have grown and cared for this special lot of unwashed Canchaque coffee. Traditionally all the coffee exported from Peru was unwashed/natural until the market demanded change and washed coffees got the farmer a better price. 25 years later and the exact opposite is true. Roasters around the world now recognize the amazing aromas, flavour and richness found in unwashed coffees and are eager to add them to their offerings.
Our cupping lab in Montreal uses sweet, ripe berries & cocoa to describe the flavours. Something to look forward to!
Voted Most Environmentally Friendly and Best Display of Community Leadership
posted March 23 2012
Our friends at North of Ordinary ran a survey about what's best in the Yukon. We're thrilled that Bean North came in third in the following two categories: Most Environmentally Friendly Yukon Company & Best Display of Community Leadership (Corporate). Definitely read the fifth anniverary edition of North of Ordinary and turn to page 40 and 41 to see best of the Yukon.
Talking to CBC about reducing our carbon footprint
posted February 01 2012
Yukon coffee roaster reduces carbon footprint
Bean North Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd. knew reducing their environmental stamp wouldn't be easy. The company imports its beans from Central America and roasts them in the Yukon before shipping the finished product to customers around North America.
But Michael King did a lot of work, made a few changes and managed to dramatically reduce the company's carbon footprint, and earn national recognition in the process.
Click here to hear Michael speak with Dave.
Bean North is working hard to reduce it’s carbon footprint
posted January 23 2012
We have started using carbon credits to offset our greenhouse gas emissions! And we're excited to be part of Taking Root's initiative to promote C02 Responsible products and services. For more info check out our C02 Responsible microsite and read our newsletter.
posted November 20 2011
We're thrilled with the launch of our new website! Have a look around and let us know what you think. We'll be posting more content, photos and hopefully some videos over the next while, so come back often to see what we've done.
Subscribe to our newsletter, like on Facebook and follow us twitter. We'll try keep you updated on what's happening in the world of coffee!