With a mission to empower farmers and help them flourish, Thrive Farmers Coffee has revolutionized the coffee supply chain. By disconnecting from the volatile commodity market price, the company gives farmers an opportunity to become true partners. With direct access to the marketplace, farmers receive a stable, predictable and higher income.
“We sell coffee and tea right now, but what we’re about is impacting people’s lives,” says Ken Lander, co-founder and chief sustainability officer of Thrive, noting the income farmers make by selling through Thrive is significantly more than they may earn elsewhere. “It’s a system designed to make sure the farmer gets paid first and is considered first.”
Seventy percent of coffee consumed around the world comes from individual farmers who each own less than 5 acres of land. While the coffee industry is worth $100 billion and ranks second in most-traded commodities, Lander says its popularity has never benefited farmers, who are universally underpaid—until now, anyway.
Lander teamed up with Michael Jones to launch Thrive in 2011, and the company has grown 8,000 percent since 2012. Thrive is not only able to provide a drastically better life for more than 1,000 farmers and their families, but it also delivers a premium product for consumers. As a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, Lander says the company produces a quality of coffee only matched by 20 percent of the coffee around the globe.