Chameleon Cold Brew: Quality Starts with Compassion, A Story of Coffee
Manufacturing iPhones is a world away from producing coffee, but there are many lessons to find in a cup of coffee. Like the cherry from which our morning brew derives, the story of coffee peels back in many layers until at last there is the bean. One layer in coffee’s story hints at this distinction between buying quality and simply acquiring luxury, no matter what the cost. Smaller producing countries like Peru are increasingly focused on providing specialty-grade coffee to a growing market demand. Averaging only 3 hectares, the typical Peruvian coffee farm produces shade-grown, hand-picked, sun-dried beans, using natural fertilizer to maintain a density of about 2000 plants per hectare at an elevation of between 1000 and 1800 meters.
The beans must be properly dried, cupped, Q-graded, and assigned nothing less than an 80 on the Q system developed by the Coffee Quality Institute. Done consistently by dedicated farmers, the process of producing high-quality, organic or specialty grade coffee can be the model of quality we seek. As coffee spread, so did new ideas, as they circulated across the proliferation of coffee houses across the old and new world. From the morning sludge we consume at the office, purchased in bulk at Costco, to the finely tuned aromatic brew shared with a friend at a trendy coffee shop, coffee runs through the veins of our social interactions. Arguably, the human cultivation of coffee, in turn, helped cultivate civilization A vigorous debate continues to this day about its origin story, but coffee cuts through human history like the legends of kings and long-forgotten civilizations.
There, we’ll meet the farmers, explore the land, and yes, drink the coffee. For CEO and co-founder Chris Campbell and his team, the story of coffee starts with a keen eye on quality.
Plugged in: Compassionate capitalism at Timberland
NEW YORK – The Timberland Co. is blazing new trails when it comes to corporate social responsibility. Timberland, a $1.5 billion a year New Hampshire-based maker of boots, apparel and accessories, has practiced its unique brand of compassionate capitalism for years. The company monitors its suppliers to try to make sure they treat their workers fairly. Timberland’s bottom line looks healthy, too: Sales have been growing by an average of about 10 percent a year and, in the last three years, the company’s stock price has doubled, easily outperforming the S&P 500 Index.
Last fall, for example, the company tackled the problem of genocide in Sudan in partnership with the actor Don Cheadle, who starred in the movie Hotel Rwanda and has become an anti-genocide activist. The label, which looks like the government-mandated ingredients labels on food, provides information on where the shoes or boots were made, how much energy was consumed to produce them and how much renewable energy the company uses. The label also reports on the company’s volunteer programs. Inside the box, the company calls upon its customers to take actions to help protect the environment or volunteer in their community. One of Swartz’s goals is to get other companies, including his competitors, to become more transparent about how and where their stuff is made.
Timberland’s employees care a lot about what the company stands for, and a big part of Swartz’s job is engaging and motivating his people. I’ve talked to many of them, and they like being part of a company that stands for something. Now a message about the company’s values will be plastered on about 30 million shoeboxes a year.
It’s Possible to Make Money and Do Good
Compassionate capitalists understand the importance of empowering the people they work with, the resulting social impact of those people and the impact that empowering their team can have on others. Compassionate capitalists are grateful and empathetic, and they have accountability for whatever happens in their life and in their business. Equally important, they’re able to utilize the principles and ideals that inspire them, and aid them in inspiring others to inspire others. In addition to these characteristics, all compassionate capitalists share four major commonalities. Compassionate capitalists not only believe in abundance, they carry the abiding energy of abundance and live in a world of more than enough.
Being in service also sets compassionate capitalists apart. Compassionate capitalists also understand that you cannot give what you don’t have. The universe doesn’t know the size of your gift; it just knows the size of your commitment, or the amount of times that you give to or serve others. If an eagle sees another bird flying solo at a high altitude, it knows the bird must be a fellow eagle, because pigeons limit themselves to the heights they can reach when flying with other pigeons. People who go the extra mile set themselves apart from the crowd, which helps them to attract the right people, the right projects and to lead a more abundant life – one of more than enough for all involved.
Compassionate capitalists are driven to create abundance for themselves and others, and they go the extra mile to do it, even when they experience some resistance. They in kind will empower others, creating a chain reaction or domino effect of compassionate capitalism.