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The Welsh independent coffee roastery going above and beyond for its community

Coaltown Coffee Roasters, an independent coffee roastery based in Ammanford, South Wales, has become one of the first B Corp certified coffee companies in the UK.

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

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The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.

As a B Corp, Coaltown is committed to behaving responsibly towards people and the planet.

To become a B Corp, it had to undertake the B Impact Assessment. This rigorous process evaluates how its operations and business model impact its workers, community, environment, and customers. From its supply chain and input materials to its charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification proves a business is meeting the highest standards of verified performance.

B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy, forming a community of leaders to drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

Scott James, founder of Coaltown Coffee, said:

“Coaltown is B-Corp and B-Corp is Coaltown. Our founding principles were to be ethical, transparent and sustainable, and B-Corp has allowed us to follow set guidelines to ensure that we keep this promise. It’s been a massive achievement to receive this commendation and all companies should strive for this as a standard for our future.”

Scott James started roasting coffee in 2013, initially building his own roaster in his father’s garage. He began by supplying coffee shops and restaurants in the local area, but the business quickly grew.

In 2016 Scott bought a beautiful vintage 1958 PROBAT Italian coffee roaster and after three years of restoration he installed it in Coaltown’s new premises in Ammanford, just down the road from where the business started. Coaltown now supplies coffee to coffee shops and restaurants across the UK. It also sells its products to the public via its website, and in specialist food stores.

In 2018 the Coaltown Canteen opened in the same building. Serving coffee, pizzas and more in a unique roastery environment, it has quickly become a popular destination for people from Ammanford and further afield. Coaltown also runs an espresso bar in the Victorian arcade in the heart of Ammanford.

From the outset, Coaltown has focused on building sustainable relationships with high quality growers around the world. Understanding that the farmers are at the heart of what makes quality coffee rather than any supplier or third party, the company goes straight to the source and cut out any middleman. Coaltown’s ethos is to pay fairly for the dedication and effort the farmers put in every day.

Located in an area that experienced economic decline after the end of the Welsh mining industry, Coaltown is dedicated to bringing jobs and prosperity to the area. As part of this mission it provides barista training to local people in order to improve their job prospects. Scott himself faced limited employment prospects after leaving education, so this is a project close to his heart.

Coaltown is also planning to launch a unique coffee subscription service in 2020.