As a small scale specialty roaster, we are heavily reliant on our importers to ensure that we are working ethically when purchasing our coffee. However, we also have a unique understanding of what it takes to behave ethically thanks to prior experience working in the green coffee industry. We have traveled extensively to coffee origins, working alongside farmers and cooperatives to gain an insight into the challenges they face on a daily basis. Thanks to this, we know the questions to ask and will simply not work with a farm or cooperative if those questions are left unanswered. Our ethical approach to trading is a founding principle of our business and we will never compromise on the way that we work with our producing partners.
How do we work?
Our approach to working ethically goes beyond well-known ‘sustainability initiatives’, instead we use a multi-faceted approach working with responsibly minded importers to ensure that the people and land growing our coffees are respected:
- We pay a price which recognises the quality of the coffee and guarantees to cover the costs of production. This means that our producing partners are profitable in their coffee farming, which helps to guarantee the longevity of our industry and allows them to enjoy an improved quality of life.
- We go beyond this by working not only directly with the coffee farmer, but also with internationally recognised organisations to ensure that everybody working on the farm, from the farmer to the picker, is doing so in line with International Labour Laws and with environmental considerations. Where this is not possible, we will visit ourselves to audit a farm, ensuring their social and environmental standards are in line with our own.
- We support community projects and NGO’s that are committed to quality improvement and consequently price improvements for the coffee farmers
- If the quality is high enough we will buy Fair Trade coffees. This organisation contributes a social premium to a smallholder cooperative which can be used towards projects which are beneficial to the whole community such as primary schools or medical dispensaries.
- We encourage creativity and innovation by supporting farmers in coffee flavour enhancement. In some cases we will help to co-fund the construction of quality improvement initiatives such as raised drying beds or parabolic dryers. This in turn raises the price we pay to the farmer based on the increase in cup quality but we firmly believe this is the only way to work given the increasing challenges faced by farmers at origin in a world that is changing both climatically and socially.
We believe in the way that we work with producers and feel coffee is a real opportunity when the driver is quality. If you are interested in hearing more of our stories about the producers we work with then get in touch, we really would be delighted to talk with you.
The following blogs may also assist with explaining how the coffee supply chain works and what it really takes to be ethical in your coffee purchases:
The Pursuit of Truly Ethical Coffee
The reality of the global coffee market in 2018