Roast Magazine – November/December 2004
by Shanna Germain
All of the coffee that Taylor Maid Farms roasts and sells is certified-organic. Seventy-five percent of it is certified-fair-trade.
This makes sense when you look at the company’s mission: to be environmentally and socially progressive, to be responsible to the communities it interacts with and to be committed to sustainable quality—all while remaining profitable. “I set out to prove early on a sustainable business can be just as profitable as a non-organic company,” says Mark Inman, Taylor Maid Farms president and green coffee buyer. “When we started, people thought we were a joke.”
Since then, Taylor Maid has turned the passion of being sustainable into two kinds of green benefits: saving the environment and turning a profit.
The company’s list of sustainable practices is long and unique: deliveries are made in biodiesel-powered vehicles; biodegradable waste is recycled using vermiculture; coffee is packaged in recyclable steel packaging; and each Taylor Maid employee is given a raised bed on site, in which he or she can grow organic vegetables. Taylor Maid was also the first roaster to use the Kestrel S35 Roaster by Loring Smart Roaster, a roaster that reduces fuel use and emissions by 80 percent. In addition, the company buys only certified-organic products that come from farms that use bio-intensive/whole system farming practices.
Taylor Maid achieves profitability in the same way that it achieves a sustainable business: by being accountable to all the communities with which it interacts, from producers and employees to customers and other roasters. Daily cuppings are used to train employees and to help them understand the product. In addition, everyone at the company is currently being cross-trained in all aspects of coffee preparation. The company is also heavily involved in education, whether employees are speaking at coffee events, writing articles, being members of the Roasters Guild Executive Council board or helping found the Barista Guild of America.
From creating local and global sustainability to offering quality coffee while turning a profit, Taylor Maid is a coffee company that’s truly taking care of business.