Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is taking specialty coffee to a whole new level.

The cornerstone Bird Rock merchant is one of a dozen coffee roasters nationwide participating in the Las Mingas Project, which rewards indigenous coffee growers for exemplary work. Through this project, farmers, in such places as Colombia, and specialty roasters establish mutually beneficial sustainable relationships.

“It’s about helping farmers improve the quality of their crop and then paying them transparently,” said Chuck Patton, owner of the independent, home-grown La Jolla business. “There’s a really open paper trail. I can follow my dollar from La Jolla to Colombia.”

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