Is it possible for mass production and consumption to be both economically transformative and community-driven? Ethical? Supported by international advocates who will lift and not drown out their voices?
For Mighty Peace Coffee, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes. Mighty Peace Coffee, founded in 2018 and headquartered here in Madison, works directly with existing coffee cooperatives and farmers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to transport their fresh beans to Black Earth, Wisconsin for refining and distributing. Notably, they also have an all-women executive staff and work with over 2,300 female farmers in the Congo.
Last week, the African Studies Program spoke with JD Stier, Founding Chairman and Partner of Mighty Peace Coffee and UW-Madison alumnus, to discuss how the company came about and why Madison residents should look forward to its upcoming event at Barriques Coffee Roasters (West Washington) on Thursday, June 6.
Mighty Peace Coffee was started through the organizing networks of Stand with Congo, an advocacy organization which collaborates with Congolese activists and civil society to fight corruption and promote democracy. By tapping into an ever-expanding international demand for coffee with the support of international advocates, local cooperative representatives hoped to foster sustainable economic transformation which would accelerate the process of peace and community-building in their communities.
So far, their mission has been a success, a testament to the positive and empowering working relationship that Mighty Peace Coffee always seeks to forge with local producers. It helps, of course, that the coffee beans are of award-winning quality and that the coffee itself tastes incredible – clean and crisp, with natural cocoa and hazelnut flavors.
“We’re here because of good people and great coffee,” JD quipped.
The event this week seeks to tell Mighty Peace Coffee’s story of dignity and ownership through coffee tasting, storytelling, and film, and will also serve as a launching point for the partnership between the African and United States Great Lakes regions. The intended audience for this event is two-fold.
“We definitely want to attract anyone involved in Wisconsin business. Everyone’s office buys coffee, but our goal is for them to actually look into the coffee that they’re buying and make more ethical purchases,” JD explained.
This event isn’t only for business owners, however.
“We’re also going to be talking a lot about narratives and specifically championing African narratives, which will be interesting for the Africanists in the audience.”
If you are interested in learning more about Mighty Peace Coffee or would like to ask a question about their upcoming event, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to make a purchase, email email@example.com.
Written by Rebecca Hanks.