Firsthand Cooperative

Working together, lending a hand

FIRSTHAND Cooperative is a fair trade coffee company located in the heart of Appalachia that is connecting mountain communities around the world.  We believe everyone, especially farmers, deserves a fair share of the profits from the global coffee trade. Inspired by the principles of the fair trade movement, we are committed to building a sharing economy by supplying coffees from cooperatives of small-scale growers abroad and supporting social enterprise development right here in our mountain home. 

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Working together, lending a hand

 

FIRSTHAND Cooperative partners with farmers, local businesses and community organizations to support a solidarity economy. We leverage profits from the sale of our unique Firsthand Coffee brand to invest in social enterprise, cooperatives and other small businesses, and to support educational programming around our core principles. 


FIRSTHAND Cooperative is committed to:

  •  A solidarity economy: Profits from our sales are reinvested into social enterprises, cooperatives and small businesses in mountain communities. We work closely with partners to promote community wealth-building.

  • The cooperative movement: We are guided by the sixth cooperative principle "cooperation among cooperatives." We prioritize financial and other forms of support to organizations that also ascribe to cooperative principles such as democratic ownership, governance, and concern for community wealth-building.

  • Lasting relationships: We foster relationships with producers, partner organizations, youth leaders, and consumers over the long term. Our aim is to build capacity to address the evolving needs of each member of our network, and to ensure mutual benefits that can be sustained and shared as our network grows. 

  • Learning together: We began as a small group of students who sought to educate themselves and others about coffee, fair trade and alternative development through research and action. We retain the spirit of learning and self-reflection in all our work.

  • Social justice: We are committed to promoting social justice in every aspect of our business, and we expect the same commitment from our partners.