FiNCA x Little Waves Sebastião Peixoto


With this delicious Brazilian we want to celebrate Phyllis Johnson, the Founder of BD Imports and the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity. In the summer of 2020 she authored An Open Letter to U.S. Coffee Industry on Racism which was a call to action during ongoing tragedy and racial unrest. She asked for your consideration of the underrepresentation and state of Black individuals in the U.S. coffee industry, as well as an examination of their current day and historical contributions.

With this coffee we hope to celebrate the triumph of Black Brazilians in coffee.  Johnson, An African American feels that her family’s connections to agricultural production and enslavement are what allowed her the chance to not only question but act on the lack of engagement of Black Brazilians in coffee. Johnson’s scholarship, company and this coffee highlight families who are finding new pathways and breaking into the Brazilian global specialty coffee market.

We hope that this coffee reminds you that you can be the change you want to see in the world.



About Phyllis Johnson & BD Imports:

In 1999, Phyllis Johnson and her husband, Patrick, founded BD Imports as a way to import green coffee from both Kenya and Black farmers in Brazil and sell the beans to roasters around the world. (In 2020, she published the book “The Triumph: Black Brazilians in Coffee.”) Her daughter, Maya, joined the company, making it a two-generation Black-owned business. For more than 20 years, Johnson has been a role model for the next generation. She had been talking about inclusivity and racial equity for years, but in 2020, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Johnson founded the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity to scrutinize racial equity in the coffee industry and offer solutions. In this edition of Voices in Food, the Atlanta-based Johnson spoke to Garin Pirnia about being a trailblazer in a white male-dominated field, the importance of representation, and having hope for the future.

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