Why PETA Is Honoring Stumptown Coffee Roasters With An Award

There are times when we might not think past our desired jolt of caffeine when we make our morning cup of coffee, but that bag of beans intersects with a range of ethical issues, including climate, economics, and other areas. You can purchase fair trade coffee, for example, which ensures that producers of coffee beans aren't exploited for their part in the coffee supply chain. Given that coffee affects and is affected by climate change, according to The New York Times, it makes sense to contextualize coffee in terms of its environmental impacts and take steps to make coffee production and consumption more sustainable.

Portland-based Stumptown Coffee Roasters is acutely aware of its responsibility for the sustainability of its operations, which is why the company pays its coffee producers premium prices. And the company takes care of its consumers as well as its producers; since 2019, nearly every Stumptown coffee shop has offered vegan food options and has eliminated surcharges for dairy-free and vegan milk alternatives, according to VegNews. On January 9, 2023, PETA announced it is honoring Stumptown with an award for another step the company has taken to show it is a friend to both the environment and to animals.

PETA gave Stumptown Coffee Roasters the Compassionate Coffee Chain Award

The animal rights organization, PETA, cheered Stumptown's decision to make oak milk the default option for all its drinks that contain milk by awarding the company the Compassionate Coffee Chain Award. PETA thanked Stumptown Coffee Roasters for "setting an eco- and cow-friendly precedent for other businesses to follow." PETA's press release for the award calls out Starbucks by name for charging more for non-dairy-based milks, or what the organization labels "the compassionate option."

Stumptown, which also markets a line of cold brew coffee made with Oatly oatmilk, cited two factors in its decision to make its bevvies with oat milk. First, the coffee chain said more customers were requesting oat milk because it's creamy and delicious, and second, its environmental impact is smaller than that of cow's milk. Stumptown's Twitter announcement that drinks will be made with oat milk unless otherwise specified explained, "By making oatmilk the default, we hope to work together with you to reduce the carbon footprint of enjoying the perfect milk-based drink."