Olympia Coffee Achieves Living Wage Certification for American Workers Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

Olympia Coffee West Seattle. All images courtesy of Olympia Coffee Roasting Co.

Olympia, based in Washington Olympia Coffee Roasting Co. earned third-party certification as a living wage provider for its staff at the company’s seven outlets in Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle.

The certification, called living wage for usis a third-party certification launched last November by the former Global Coalition for a Living Wage coordinator Michelle Murray, who sought to apply some of the same living wage principles in the United States that are often applied to agricultural sectors in less wealthy countries.

Olympia Cafe

The agency calculates US Living Wages on a county-by-county basis, while offering many levels of certifications. Olympia Coffee has achieved the next level of certification, called Morethat recognizes employers’ efforts beyond wages, such as providing insurance benefits, additional paid time off, employee training, and more.

Benefits included, all staff at Olympia Coffee and sister brand Moonrise Bakery in Seattle earn at least $21.02 per hour, the base hourly wage for the Olympia area, according to the Living Wage for Us standard .


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“When we offer jobs that offer living wages and benefits, we invite new communities of people into the talent pool, opening up the opportunity for people from underrepresented and/or underserved communities to participate in the coffee of specialty,” Olympia Coffee HR and AP/AR Manager Richelle Parker told DCN via email. “This model has brought us greater diversity and diversity among the staff members who join our teams. It also allowed us to staff seven cafes with no current vacancies – a difficult feat to accomplish during a pandemic. Paying a living wage means our employees tend to stay, which means better, more knowledgeable and more experienced service for our customers. »

Olympia told DCN that the Living Wage certification is complementary to the company’s pioneering direct trade sourcing program called Just for all. Launched in 2018, the supply program promotes transparency, long-term cooperation with farmers and prices that allow a living wage between all actors in the coffee supply chain, including agricultural workers. In the most recent reporting year (2020), the company said it paid $3.61 per pound (FOB) for green coffee.

“Since Olympia Coffee’s inception, our goal has been to build a business that improves the quality of life for everyone connected to it,” Olympia Coffee CEO and co-owner Oliver Stormshak said in a news release. the new national certification. “This third-party audit and certification from Living Wage for US clarifies that we are doing this in a real and measurable way for our people, and it holds us accountable to our mission.”


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Michael A. Bynum