We’ve been working with our exporting partner to connect with a handful of producers based in San Roque, Antioquia, Colombia, who have good practices and methods to produce high quality and sustainable coffee. This relationship benefits the economic position of the farmers and allows us access to fully traceable, great tasting coffee.
We’ve always been proud to work with our import partners who do invaluable work at the source (social and economic) and allow us to select a wide range of coffees from a variety of origins, farms and co-operatives all year round. The farmers also benefit from the buying power of these companies as they are able to sell their whole yield, not just small amounts each time .
A roaster of our size is unable to purchase coffee in such large quantities, so it’s important for the farms that companies like this continue to exist. We will continue to use this model to provide our customers with a strong selection from many coffee growing regions.
Our direct coffee will make up 40% of the coffee we import. This is something we have always been keen to explore, whilst still supporting the work that our import partners do in providing us with well farmed, ethically produced, traceable coffees.
So, what are some of the benefits of Direct Trade coffee? For the farmer, a major benefit is being able to sell their coffee without having to give up a percentage to a broker. Part of our new initiative is our agreement to pay an extra 50p per kilo, which will be directly re-invested into processing equipment, as much of this is done at farm level in Colombia. Practices and processes can always be improved and sustainability in the industry is an important factor for us. Another advantage of having the direct link is we can give open and honest feedback on the quality of the coffee and can identify together which equipment needs investment or updating. Thus the coffee will continually improve!
Working so closely with the producers allows our farmers to experiment with processes and improve their coffee with less risk involved. Often farmers will send their coffee to a processing plant and that is where their line of vision ends. Trading directly allows the farmers to not only taste their own coffee, which is rare to find in a lot of Colombian farms, but also gain feedback from us about how their coffee is enjoyed by our customers.