Dean Cycon is the owner of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, a certified 100% organic, fair trade and kosher coffee roasting operation in Orange, Massachusetts, USA. Dean has over twenty-five years of development work and activism in indigenous communities, including coffee villages, around the world. Dean is a co-founder of Coffee Kids (non-profit development group), and of Cooperative Coffees, the world’s first fair trade roaster’s cooperative. He created Dean’s Beans to prove that business can promote positive economic, social and environmental change at the third world source, and be profitable at the same time. Dean’s Beans has grown steadily over the past sixteen years and has stayed on its mission. The company designs and funds people-centered development projects in the coffee lands in partnership with the growers, and returns a percentage of profits to the growers as a Social Equity Premium. In 2004, the company received a Best Practices Recognition from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the 2005 Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America. The company received the Environmental Excellence Award from Antioch New England in 2006, and was the subject of a case study for sustainable business practices by the UN Global Compact. Dean has also been awarded the 2006 Citizen of the Year by the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce, and a Bicentennial Medal from Williams College in 2008. Dean’s Beans was awarded the Boston Business Journal Pacesetter Award for 2010.
Dean has a law degree from New York Law School and an advanced law degree from the Yale Law School. He has been a Fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a Senior Fulbright Scholar in New Zealand, an Ella Baker Fellow and a Visiting Scholar at the Yale Law School. Dean has taught Environmental Law, Natural Resource Policy and International Resource Management at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Rhode Island, and has several professional publications regarding law, development, resource management and indigenous peoples. His book, “Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee” won the Gold Medal as the Best Travel Essay Book of 2008 from the Independent Publishers Association.
Dean also performs on stage and screen. He has been seen as Uncle Drosselmeyer in the Nutcracker Ballet and in many other community theater productions. Dean played a sailor and a drunken pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean III.
Dean donates all speaking fees and royalties to progressive development projects with coffee communities.