New Zealanders are invited to own a piece of Peoples Coffee as the company launches its PledgeMe Campaign with the goal of raising $1.5 million to supercharge its production capacity and expand its organic Fair Trade footprint in the country.
Peoples, founded in 2004 by Matt Lamason, uses only organic Fair Trade beans to produce its coffee and was the first New Zealand food and beverage company to be certified as a B-Corp. The company has a pre-raise valuation of $10 million and a post-raise valuation of $12 million if the offering is fully subscribed. Its products can now be found in kitchens and restaurants from Wanaka to Auckland.
Peoples, according to Matt Lamason, came into the world to make a difference. After becoming disillusioned with how the traditional coffee industry disempowered coffee farmers and their communities, he founded the company.
Since 1998, we have championed small-scale coffee farmers and their communities worldwide, says Lamson.
“Being true to our values has taught us that business can be ethical, profitable, and sustainable. We were ahead of our time in 2004, and despite being told we couldn’t do it, we’ve not only proven it’s possible, but it’s also what consumers now demand. Businesses can be successful and meaningful. “The two are not mutually exclusive,” he explains.
Peoples obtains its coffee beans from coffee cooperatives in Ethiopia, Columbia, and other countries. Each co-operative is comprised of between 500 and one thousand small farmers who produce organic, Fair Trade beans. For each kilogram of beans purchased, the company pays organic and social premiums. Peoples has returned nearly $400,000 to their growers over the past three years, empowering them to build stronger businesses and ensuring economically and environmentally sustainable futures for future generations.
James Beyer, general manager of Peoples, says they’ve set a maximum fund-raising goal of $1.5 million to expand their production and sales capacity and establish the new Peoples headquarters in Wellington.
“Our ultimate goal is to have Peoples Coffee in every New Zealand kitchen. We intend to purchase a new roasting machine to increase our bean capacity from 2,500 to 8,000 kilograms per week, as well as automate our packaging and grinding operations.