Over the past several weeks we’ve been having much needed conversations in order to better understand our responsibility as a social enterprise and our role in creating a more inclusive society, free of systematic racism for all black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). We stand in solidarity with this movement and have been taking the time to look at our actions, both internally and externally, to ensure that, as a company and community, Reunion Coffee Roasters is part of the solution and not part of the problem.
To that end, we have taken or are planning the following steps to further our efforts:
A full review of our policies on: anti-racism, diversity and inclusivity. This encompasses not just our hiring and HR policies, but also how we interact with our entire supply chain, from coffee producers, to packaging suppliers and our customers. New, updated policies will be available within the next 2 weeks.
We have reaffirmed to our team, that they have the absolute right to speak out against any racist, bigoted or otherwise inappropriate behavior or comments, with impunity. We encourage all to speak up if they see or hear anything that is hurtful, insulting, inappropriate or abusive. All incidents will be investigated thoroughly and there is zero tolerance on these matters.
Our management team will be going through Diversity and Inclusivity training (virtually for the time being) and when our full team is back to work post-pandemic, the entire group will go through similar training as well.
After extensive research, we have found the following resource guide to share with our team and encourage everyone to check it out – whether it be through a book, documentary or podcast, all learning helps in understanding what has fueled this movement here.
We have made contributions to Black Lives Matter Canada, the Black Legal Action Centre, FoodShare’s Not Another Black Life program and Covenant House, all of whom work directly with BIPOC. We will continue to make contributions when possible and develop programs with similar organizations to help fund their important work.
We recognize that we are not experts in or an acceptable source of knowledge on the Black Lives Matter movement (nor any other critical activist movement). Our responsibility is to listen to and learn from credible sources of research and those with lived experiences, and we stand in solidarity with the movement. As non experts, to actively pursue positive change in a genuine, constructive way then can only be done by grounding our words and actions in what we are experts in: coffee. Now more than ever, we appreciate the need to be transparent about the coffee industry and see it as a valuable means of contributing to the much larger conversation around historical and prevailing racial disparities and social injustice. This means continuing and deepening the work we do around sustainability and equity with the most vulnerable members of our supply chain, coffee producers.
If you have any recommendations, questions, concerns or thoughts you would like to share on these matters or anything else, please feel free to reach out to us, anytime.