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We've given a good amount of thought to a seemingly simple addition to our building: coffee service. What follows reflects our thinking about this area.
We're ordering our coffee from Coffee Express in Plymouth, MI. In addition to regular coffee, they also sell organic and fair trade coffee, which is what we purchase.
Organic coffee is coffee that has been grown according to organic standards, using no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizer. A natural system of pest control is encouraged. Often farms growing organic coffee practice socially responsible practices, such as recycling and composting. Because a large portion of organic coffee is shade grown, large amounts of forest land are preserved.
Fair trade coffee generally refers to fair working conditions for coffee workers around the world. The increased price of the coffee helps fund higher wages and healthier working conditions.Fair-trade coffee workers are required to be part of a co-op with other local coffee growers, and these co-ops help determine how excess profits will be spent. Workers are guaranteed a fair base wage, with a possibility to share in profits.
No coffee is grown locally in Michigan, but we order from a local supplier in Plymouth. As a bonus, our supplier delivers Thursdays to Motor City Brewing Works, and so they do not need to expend more gas getting to us.
In order to share the expense of the coffee in a fair way, we've devised the following system:
- Payment for coffee will be via poker chips, which will be worth 50 cents each (what we're estimating will be the worth of a mug of coffee). You can purchase $5, $10, or $20 worth of chips and use them until they run out - then you can buy more! We'll keep a container on the counter where you can drop your chip for each cup of coffee.
- Peggy will purchase chips for the library group of volunteers; Tom for the business volunteers. The library chips will be kept in a basket at the library, and the business chips will be ----.
- People working for the GG will be allotted 1 chip per day, then they can purchase additional cups.
We'll check our balance at the end of a month, and if we need to raise the price of chips, we'll let you know.
Sugar and half & half will be provided.
Please see Peggy to sign up for the Coffee Club - or if you have suggestions.