The cultivation of specialty coffee is a labor and cost-intensive process and thus has its price. For the producers, this price is made up of many factors such as energy costs, labor costs, equipment and fertilizer costs, as well as taxes in the cultivation area.
These production costs are completely independent to the value of green coffee, which is one of the most commonly traded commodities in the world. The market in which it is traded can be extremely volatile and for the farmer, these fluctuations in coffee price can have a direct impact on the survival of a coffee farm, its workers and the individual coffee producer.
For example if the value of coffee falls heavily below a farmer's production costs, they are unable to cover all expenses for the farm with their income. In many cases, farmers are forced to stop production and leave their coffee fields, sometimes this can even be during harvest where resources and energy have already been outlaid. Direct trade was introduced as a way of protecting the farmer against these unfavorable fluctuations in the commodities market.
Direct trade for us is about the importance placed on the relationship between us as roasters and the farmer, their finca and their coffees. It is about growing strong, healthy and sustainable relationships with farmers by making regular visits to origin and creating open lines of communication. From this we have not only learned a lot about their plantations and “beneficios” but we have also developed a feeling for their work.
We have established very close and personal business relationships, the goal of which is sustainable, honest and responsible interaction, away from whimsical stock market speculation.
Regular trips to origin gives us an indispensable insight into the work of the producers. Here, we are able to gain valuable knowledge about the differences in the cultivation of individual varieties, on processing, optimal storage and logistics. This knowledge enriches us and helps us in our work. From importing and roasting to brewing and selling these coffees, we love and recognized the best coffee quality.
As a company, our focus has always been on buying, roasting and selling high quality coffee from start to finish. We believe that this is only achievable when the farmer can live from their work. To build knowledge and increase coffee quality by working harmoniously with roasters and producers around the world.
The direct coffee trade is not just about fair prices, but also about creating long-term relationships between coffee farmers and coffee traders.
In some cases, we take over the complete logistical process. From the farm, to the port, transporting the green beans and importing them to our roastery.
In other cases, we work with green bean buyers who import the green coffee for us directly from origin. Their work is integrated into the logistics chain in a transparent and honest way.
Thus, the cost is composed of the negotiated price with the producer, the logistics and transportation costs, the insurance of the transport and the current exchange rates. Transparency, close personal ties with producers and sustainable co-operation from the basis for a production of the best possible coffee quality.