The Problem in Coffee
We work hard to create awareness around the fact that the coffee industry has a major flaw: its pricing model.
Before coffee reaches our roastery, it has to be grown, harvested, picked, processed, dried, milled and sorted. A lot of work goes into each step, and it’s important to acknowledge the efforts of everyone in the supply chain.
Many producers don’t earn enough to cover their basic production costs. This is wrong.
The global coffee industry isn’t doing enough to care for coffee producers. The historical average price paid for a pound of green coffee over the last forty-five years has essentially remained at US $1.00.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that the current global pricing model is unfair and unsustainable.
The solutions are varied and complex, but they all start the same way: by paying a higher price to coffee producers and being as transparent with it as we can.
1. Higher quality should mean higher returns
Many producers of specialty coffee don’t earn enough to cover their production costs. We have recognized this as a huge injustice, and have been paying three to five times the commodity market pricing for over eleven years when buying our green coffee. We get to know a coffee producer personally and build relationships that last over time. We do this, to make sure coffee producers get paid the right price for their high quality coffee. If we want them to keep growing amazing coffee, we should make sure they have the means to do it. It’s not about who can pay the most: it’s about building a sustainable industry that benefits the consumer, the roaster and the producer.
2. Transparency and awareness
Recently we have joined with other conscientious coffee companies scattered across the globe in committing to The Pledge.
In doing this we are committing to an unprecedented level of transparency within the coffee industry in the hopes that by doing so, you will better understand how to direct your limited resources most effectively.
Our combined vision for the coffee industry is to effect meaningful change.
- Ensure a sustainable supply of coffee by working towards a living income for producers so they will continue to invest in the future of their businesses.
- Transparent reporting enables actors throughout the supply chain to make informed choices. This will help the industry to raise prices paid to farmers and provide living incomes in coffee producing countries.
- Transparency about Free On Board (FOB) Prices is a first step. We encourage all companies and actors along the supply chain to make prices transparent at every step of the supply chain.
- Transparency is a tool to ensure that marketing claims are backed by actual facts.
How Can You Help?
By signing The Pledge we as a coffee company have committed to providing certain information to you as the consumer. But you are the only one that can actually make a difference. We encourage you to always look for this kind of information from your coffee roaster, so that you can evaluate for yourself whether to support our endeavours.
We are committed to providing this information for each of our coffees:
- Free On Board (FOB) price paid for the coffee
- Relative quality of the coffee
- Lot size (volume) of the coffee purchased
- Length of the relationship between producer and buyer
- Percentage of transparent coffees in relation to the total volume of coffee sold in the stated year.