Gowanus-based Crop To Cup Coffee is on a mission to shine a light on the connection between the people drinking coffee in Brooklyn and the people growing it in Africa. They call their approach to sourcing and selling beans ‘relationship coffee.’
Check out this super-smooth video they’ve put together. This little 60 second spot would fit right in on network prime time. It’s so pro that you probably wouldn’t even notice it were it sandwiched between ads for Volkswagen and The Gap, but if you pay attention you just might learn a few things you didn’t know about coffee. Or a lot of things.
So why are the Brooklyn Flea favorites rolling all this tape? Crop to Cup wants in with Walmart, the retail monster known for wiping out huge swaths of small American businesses by stocking its endless shelves with too-cheap-to-be-good products that are decidedly disconnected from the faces and circumstances of the people making them.
Walmart launched a competition called ‘Get on the Shelf’ to give small brands a shot at, well, getting on their shelves, and Crop to Cup saw it as an opportunity to spread the gospel of ‘good coffee from good people’ to a much, much, larger audience.
Not surprisingly, this has stirred up some controversy. Walmart is notorious for squeezing its suppliers to sell their products at price points that offer razor-thin profit margins. Would getting conscious coffee on the shelves of Walmart actually help coffee farmers in Africa? Would it be a waste of time? Or should getting into bed with a giant retailer whose unsustainably low prices routinely wipe out small retailers be avoided at all costs?
Here’s a look at the debate that’s been (politely) raging on Crop to Cup’s Facebook page.
What do you think? Want to help Crop to Cup Trojan horse conscious coffee onto the shelves of Walmart? Vote for them here.