International Mother Earth Day is coming up – A day to raise awareness about climate change and global warming, to act towards the protection of the environment and focus on the need for conservation.
Here at SaucyBean, us individuals can also embrace the purpose of this celebration through consuming coffee. Read more to find out what SaucyBean does to contribute to this special event, through an interview with the founder, Alex Clark.
SaucyBean is a social enterprise focused on a singular vision — What if our daily cup of coffee could be a force for good?
When you sip on SaucyBean’s coffees, you’re not only supporting ethical supply chains and sustainable pay for coffee farmers, you’re creating a better world — 25% of SaucyBean’s profits go to NGOs focused on wildlife conservation and humanitarian relief.
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself and your company’s mission and vision?
SaucyBean was set up right at the end of 2018, where the whole idea revolved around coffee that could make a difference to the world.
If you look at the world today I think it’s all too clear — particularly in light of the pandemic — that we’re living in a period characterised by insidious overconsumption, where convenience and profit has been prized above all else.
SaucyBean’s mission is to leverage our everyday consumption —in this case, sipping on a great cup of coffee— and infuse it with a fresh perspective by giving back to the people, environment, and world in which we reside through our 25% profit-to-NGO model.
We consume around 2.25 billion cups of coffee per day globally. Imagine if we were to leverage just a fraction of that consumption — it would provide a sustainable revenue stream for NGOs looking to make the world a better place and make for an easy (and delicious) means of contribution for the customer.
2. What attracted you to this cause of creating coffee that gives back to the environment?
Because there is a pressing need. One only has to open the papers today to see that in one way or another the natural world is in a jam.
That said, we’re also witnessing the genesis of a more-conscious consumerism and relationship with mother earth so tapping into peoples’ desires to do good whilst also contributing to NGOs is a no-brainer for us.
On another level we see great product suitability. The majority of us live busy, stressful lives, and despite best intentions, our desire to contribute, to give back can be pushed to the wayside. Coffee therefore is an obvious medium to enact change — drinking it is a habitual action that’s already part and parcel of our day and one which requires no further cognitive load.
3. I was looking through the NGOs that your company chose to support. Could you tell me more about why did you choose these few NGOs specifically and why should others support them too?
There’s definitely an element of personal bias in the NGOs SaucyBean has been blessed to partner with. I’ve grown up surrounded by animals and fascinated by wildlife documentaries so I suppose my choice to work with conservation-focused NGOs, such as Orangutan Information Centre in Sumatra, or African Parks stems largely from upbringing. I also recognise that conservation-focused NGOs have broad appeal – so many of us care about the fates and fortunes of iconic species – so presenting the consumer with an additional, seamless opportunity to contribute makes perfect sense.
In terms of the humanitarian-focused NGOs SaucyBean partners with I think we first need to point out the obvious — that our day-to-day experience and circumstance is largely determined by the location and economic prosperity in which we were born. There are around 3.4 billion people globally who are estimated to live under $5.50 a day, it is only right therefore that where possible we contribute to improving the lives of those who are financially less fortunate or in circumstances more trying than ours. That’s why offering the consumer the chance to give back to NGOs such as Food from the Heart in Singapore or Habitat For Humanity in Bangladesh is important indeed.
4. While setting up SaucyBean, what were the biggest challenges that you have faced? Did you manage to overcome these challenges?
As a first-time business owner, the biggest challenges for me have undoubtedly been the ones that exist within the mind, i.e. coming to terms with questions such as ‘how ok am I with uncertainty’ ‘how ok am I with being ignored,’ ‘how ok am I accepting drastic lifestyle changes’, ‘how ok am I with making sacrifices?
5. How has setting up SaucyBean changed you as a person?
Before I set up SaucyBean I worked in the corporate world and was accustomed to a fixed role, routine and high degree of financial security. Setting up SaucyBean has thrown me into the unknown and shifted me from a place of mental and physical comfort and certainty to one of discomfort and uncertainty. It’s required a great deal of mental toughness, and wholehearted belief in the mission — that a cup of coffee can be a means for collective contribution — to weather (and continue to do so).
It also has given me a newfound appreciation for the customers who have supported me and SaucyBean in its infancy; truly without them, I and SaucyBean are nothing but figments of imagination. That’s a pretty humbling realisation when you think about it.
6. Is there anything that you would like to say to encourage fellow readers/individuals who are looking to set up businesses for a similar cause as you?
If you have the embers of an idea smouldering inside, especially one that’s geared towards contribution to a world outside of yourself, not only the world but your own sense of soul will thank you for actioning it. And yes, the journey may be difficult and ultimately you (or I) may not succeed in your goal but by damn at least we would have given it a shot and gained more than you can put your finger on. That’s something you can carry with you and be proud of.
Want to grab yourself a cup of delicious coffee that does good too? Check out SaucyBean’s coffee selection here at Fairmarch. Alternatively if you’re looking to transform your in-office coffee into a NGO-fundraising machine, email Alex at [email protected] for more information.