January 9, 2018
We have severed our ties to Four Barrel effective 01.05.2018. Please refer to this article for more information. We do not support victim-blaming and have zero tolerance for sexual harassment in the workplace. Below is the note we sent to Four Barrel explaining our decision to discontinue their coffee:
To Whom It May Concern,
We are discontinuing our relationship with Four Barrel immediately and all remaining retail bags have been put on a blow-out sale. While I appreciate your attempts to clarify the scandal with your recent letters, it would seem that you are scapegoating one errant co-owner’s behavior and dismissing many very valid claims that Four Barrel fostered a toxic and harassive system-wide culture. You should know that sexual harassment at Four Barrel has been an open secret for years, and that I personally feel complicit in that I had heard third hand information about the sexual assault that occurred in Bolinas (and in your actual workplace), and yet I continued to carry your product. That’s something that I, as a co-owner of an ethical business, have to wrestle with. I find it hard to believe that no one at the company had any inkling of these problems prior to a few months ago, when your HR department played an active role in disempowering women who came forward.
Your new owners are more than welcome to reach out at such time as they become fully worker-owned -and- they carry organic, fair-trade, or otherwise ethical third-party certified ethical product. Thanks very much.
–Tulasi Johnson, Worker-Owner, Other Avenues Grocery Cooperative