For Immediate Release
June 23, 2003

Media Contacts:
Michael Straus - (415) 777-1170

Stephenie Hendricks - (415) 258-9151

French Roast, French Fries and Freedom from Foreign Fuel
Biodiesel trucks ‘drive’ home Thanksgiving Coffee’s corporate responsibility message

SAN FRANCISCO, CA You wouldn’t expect an organic coffee company to have much in common with greasy fast food chains. Then again, change is always in the air in Northern California - and this time, change smells like French fries.

Thanksgiving Coffee Company ( is California’s first company to convert their fleet to pure B100 Biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative fuel derived from leftover and recycled vegetable oils. This conversion is the latest step in Thanksgiving Coffee’s ‘Carbon Neutral’ program, the first environmental program of its kind in the industry.

“We have a basic philosophy here,” stated Thanksgiving Coffee CEO Paul Katzeff from his roasting facility in Fort Bragg on California’s north coast. “You get ‘Total Quality’ by caring about the taste of the coffee, honoring the farmers, and respecting the environment.”

“We think it’s wonderful to see a private company protecting the environment while contributing to our domestic energy security,” said Bob Metz, president of the National Biodiesel Board, the non-profit trade association for the Biodiesel industry based in Jefferson City, MO.

Biodiesel is made from renewable resources like new or used vegetable oils or animal fats. Non-toxic and fully biodegradable, it can be used in any diesel engine. B100 Biodiesel produces 50% less carbon monoxide emissions and 90% less carbon dioxide.

Kumar Plocher operates Yokayo Biofuels, the Ukiah, California-based Biodiesel supplier. “Working with Thanksgiving Coffee Company has been a remarkable experience,” Kumar said. “People often fear the unknown, but Thanksgiving Coffee takes a real research-oriented approach,” he says. “They are true pioneers in reducing global warming and you can definitely smell the difference when they drive by.” Thanksgiving has a 2500 gallon tank on-site where they receive deliveries from Yokayo supplemented by a network of Biodiesel fueling stations in northern California which provide the fleet with their needed fuel.

Thanksgiving Coffee Company’s conversion to Biodiesel is the latest in a multi-year environmental sustainability program. In 1998, they financed an assessment by the non-profit Trees for the Future to determine carbon emissions produced in the processing, delivery, and consumption of Thanksgiving Coffee, and subsequently planted 75,000 trees in Ethiopia - the birthplace of coffee - to mitigate their operation’s impact on global warming. The trees sequester an amount of carbon-based greenhouse gasses equal to the amount of those produced by Thanksgiving Coffee in the process of getting the coffee from the tree to your cup. The calculations included not only their electrical use for lighting the factory, but also the gas used to deliver the beans, propane used to roast the coffee, and energy used by consumers to brew the 50 million cups a year that Thanksgiving’s customers drink.

Thanksgiving Coffee Company is one of the nation’s leading roasters of gourmet coffee, specializing in Certified organic, Fair Trade and Shade Grown products. Their products are widely available in stores throughout Northern California, in restaurants including Chez Panisse and The Albion River Inn, and in retail stores including Safeway, Whole Foods, and via their website:

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  • Members of the press are invited to join CEO Paul Katzeff on a tour of the Thanksgiving roasting plant. Please call to schedule.
  • Digital Press Room located at
  • Thanksgiving’s environmental audit:
  • Coffee samples available upon request
  • This press release is archived at


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