Sweetwater is thrilled to host the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Cooperative Coffees Oct. 17-19 here in Gainesville.
A cooperative of coffee roasting companies located across the United States and Canada, Cooperative Coffees is Sweetwater’s sole importer, supplying all of the green coffee Sweetwater roasts and sells here in Florida.
Cooperative Coffees is different from other coffee importers, because it is owned entirely by its customers- coffee roasters. This group of some 23 small coffee companies located as far south as Gainesville and as far north as Whitehorse, Yukon Territories, collectively sourced nearly 5 million pounds of certified organic, fair trade coffee from small-scale farmers in 2019.
Cooperative Coffees only sources fair trade coffee from farmer-owned cooperatives, and it makes public its coffee contracts via the website www.fairtradeproof.com.
An Annual General Meeting & a Coffee Research Symposium
Every year, Cooperative Coffees organizes an AGM somewhere in North America that is hosted by one of its member-owners, and this year, Sweetwater has the distinguished honor of hosting this group of specialty coffee professionals- peers who share our same values for coffee sourcing.
This year’s AGM is running concurrently to the University of Florida Coffee Research Symposium. The Oct. 17-19 Symposium features academics and practitioners from all over the world, including Sweetwater’s CEO Tripp Pomeroy, its co-owner Bill Harris and Coffee Education Coordinator Hannah Mercer.
Cooperative Coffees General Manager Ed Canty will be joining Bill Harris to offer the UF Coffee Research Symposium keynote address on Friday, Oct. 18, and owner of nearby co-op member Amavida Coffee, Dan Bailey, will also be speaking at the research symposium.
In addition to giving a keynote address, Ed will also be running an AGM with record attendance. Some 60 people from 19 roasteries across the U.S. and Canada are scheduled to participate. In addition, two farmer representatives from Guatemala’s Asociacion Chajulense, located in the Ixil triangle and Chucutumanes areas of the Northern Quiché region, will be joining the group.
What is an AGM again?
A hallmark of the cooperative business structure, an AGM brings together all member-owners of a co-op for a day of business and elections that will fill seats on the co-op’s executive board and help shape the group’s goals for the coming year.
Farmer co-ops have their own AGMs every year, and it was the farmers’ commitment to community and a cooperative organizing structure that inspired the birth of Cooperative Coffees in 2000.
For us, this is a treasured opportunity to show off our hometown to some of our favorite coffee friends, and to connect with Cooperative Coffees’ amazing staff who keep us connected to small-scale farmers, supplied with outstanding green coffee and inspired by industry-leading terms of trade.
We are truly honored to host this group, and we hope to share more from our busy coffee weekend on this blog. Stay tuned. And in the meantime, learn more about this great group of coffee folks. https://coopcoffees.coop/