Do you believe that Julian Assange is a hero? Do you believe that Bradley/Chelsea Manning potentially putting the lives of American soldiers, and their allies in danger is something to be celebrated? Do you believe a Russian punk rock girl who stages exploits such as shoving a chicken in her vagina is fighting for us all?
If the answers yes, my friend, you are in luck. There is now an anti-authoritarian coffee chain for you. It's a Dutch coffee company called Moyee and it has a little marketing campaign to promote the world's first FairChain brand. Yup, T-shirts and post cards to show your solidarity.
The idea of Moyee is to be a kind of a Fair Trade on steroids coffee company. By having country of origin coffee growers also roast the beans in the country and sell them at a higher profit, Moyee believes everyone will benefit. Moyee also pays 20% more for the privilege of getting the roasted beans. They believe they can offset this extra expense while charging less than Starbucks for the consumer by cutting out the middle man and not wasting money on advertising.
I appreciate the attitude, even if I think riding on the coattails of activists is smarmy and borrowed interest at its worst. Also, the radical angle has been done a lot. Anyone in the UK remember RedVeg?
I seem some larger issues though. Having worked in a local non-Starbucks coffeehouse that roasted its own beans I can tell you the minute its roasted, coffee becomes a ticking time bomb of flavor depreciation. So unless Moyee plans on very fast transportation of the coffee (which no doubt will have an environmental impact) then the coffee's not going to be as flavorful. I guess if they plan to charge customers less it evens out? I'd also like to know how they can sustain this business model when it comes time to pay the baristas in the Netherlands. Surely a price will have to be raised somewhere, no?
Moyee says it doesn't want to be run like a regular corporation or anything. Moyee founder Guido van Staveren says he prefers a dot.com start-up mindset.
Not sure exactly what a dot.com start-up mindset is. Idealist and entrepreneurial at face value. Having witnessed enough by living California though, to me a start-up mindset means you raise a lot of VC funding on the outset, turn to crowdsourcing when the VC money runs out and then try to hang on long enough for google to buy you out for millions.
Good luck, Moyee. May your radical spirit take you somewhere.