epay Germany enables school meals in Burundi thanks to cooperation with Social Coffee Company
epay’s commitment to sustainability starts every day with the first cup of coffee. As part of the global payment network Euronet Inc. (NASDAQ:EEFT), we value environmental, social and governance performance throughout our organization in order to bring about positive environmental and social change in the future. epay Germany is happy to do its part – and this sustainability commitment can be very diverse, from waste prevention to donations, social days or doing good with coffee.
In 2021, we at epay have switched to coffee beans from Bean United at our Martinsried location and since then we have consumed 345 kg of coffee diligently. What’s so special about it? With Bean United, you can do good by drinking coffee, because every kilogram of coffee enables 10 school meals in Burundi. With our 345 kg of coffee, we were able to give 3,450 meals to school children. This way, our employees make a social contribution with every cup of coffee. Find out more about the project and how coffee is turned into school meals in the interview with the founders:
We interviewed Thomas & Philipp Greulich, the founders of Bean United to get to know their work even better.
How did you come up with the idea to start a social coffee company?
We wanted to combine entrepreneurship with a contribution to a better world – and we did it with an everyday product that we converted into an “impact tool.”
What goals are you pursuing with your commitment?
We want to enable opportunities for people in difficult situations to build a better life for themselves.
Please tell us more about your work in Burundi. What has been your best experience there so far?
Burundi is a great country, with a young population, the average age is 18 years vs. 45 years in Germany. The people are full of zest for life and action; when I was able to spend about 2.5 weeks in Burundi in 2019, I saw a beautiful country, bananas, sweet potatoes, manioc etc. grow in the gardens of the villages, as well as coffee. For the most part, the people in the country are self-sufficient. It is only when there is a prolonged dry season that food becomes scarce, which is why it is so important that we provide the children with school meals all year round (from Monday till Friday) so that a basic supply, calorie wise depending on the age group, is provided. This is why we are working together with Welthungerhilfe to help Burundi. The School Meals Project has an effective formula: Food for Education and Opportunities. It was a very special experience to suddenly see 10 school children aged 10-14 behind, beside and in front of me while jogging in the hills, the children were very sporty and turned off to their school after 15 minutes.
You maintain personal contacts with your coffee farmers. What do you mean by “friendly trade”?
It means that in addition to fair payment for good quality well above Fairtrade prices, we personally know the people who make this great product coffee possible through honest work and dedication, and that we develop friendly relationships.
Why did you choose to focus on B2B with Bean United?
As a social startup, you need a niche. We found it in companies that pay attention to their employees and values. CSR is a big topic, and we bring it together with an everyday office benefit. The term we want to make socially acceptable in the HR scene: “Social Employer Branding” – show your employees what you stand for and let them be a part of it – with every cup of coffee.
What does every coffee drinker contribute to epay by drinking your coffee from now on?
For every kilo of coffee, 2.50 EUR go to the Burundi school meals pot of the Welthungerhilfe. This makes 10 school meals possible. Your cup costs 0.25 EUR incl. fair admin and logistics costs; under 10%, top for NGOs. Since about 80 cups come from one kilo of coffee, about 3 cents per cup go to Burundi.
About the project
The Munich-based social coffee company Bean United was founded in early 2018 by brothers Thomas and Philipp Greulich with the aim of supporting the next generation on their way to a better future. With the coffee beans, they have turned an everyday product into an “impact tool”, because for every kilo of coffee beans sold, €2.50 is donated to Deutsche Welthungerhilfe, which uses this amount to provide 10 meals for school children.
Currently, more than 100 schools in the north of Burundi are already serving more than 100,000 children. Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world and is located in East Africa, an area with politically motivated outbreaks of violence and severe dry seasons. The resulting food shortages make it difficult for children and young people to develop healthily and build a secure livelihood. The school feeding project is therefore an effective means of motivating children to attend classes regularly and reducing school dropouts. By providing a hot meal at school, the children’s physical development as well as their education is supported. Instead of having to worry about finding food, children and young people can attend classes and also concentrate better thanks to the school meal.
Bean United’s coffee and espresso beans are fairly traded and sourced directly from coffee fincas in Brazil, Rwanda, Peru and India without middlemen, benefiting coffee farmers in particular. The social coffee company places great importance on a direct and friendly relationship with the coffee farmers. The beans are grown ecologically and without the addition of chemicals and are roasted in a drum in a traditional, gentle manner.
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