Ensuring Your Purchase Supports Farm Worker Communities
For generations, coffee farm worker communities throughout the world have lived in extreme poverty, with dirt floors, leaky roofs and limited access to clean drinking water, among many other issues.
Previous efforts to address these issues, including the Fair Trade and Direct Trade movements, have focused on paying a premium price for coffee as a way to bring greater prosperity to origin. While we applaud these efforts -- and believe that there are benefits to paying higher prices for coffee -- there is also no guarantee under either a Fair Trade or Direct Trade model that the extra money paid to farm owners (or cooperatives) will actually help farm worker communities.
To ensure that your dollars benefit coffee farm workers, we partner with farm owners to implement a project that addresses a clear, basic need in worker communities. Whether it is a project to restore housing or improve access to drinking water, you can be assured that your dollars are supporting the most vulnerable in the supply -- who also do the hard work of picking and processing your coffee.
Elements Of Our Sourcing Model
Direct Purchasing Relationship.
We buy directly from farmers and other producers.
The FOB price* paid to the farmer or producer was at least 50% more than the current Fair Trade minimum as published by the Fair Trade Labeling Organization (FLO).
The FOB price we paid is disclosed here. Upon reasonable request, we will also provide supporting documentation regarding pricing. In the event that the purchase of green coffee was made from a producer rather than a farmer, the price paid to the farmers who supply the producer with coffee cherry or partially-processed coffee is also disclosed, i.e., the farmgate price.**
Implementation of a Social Project.
An additional premium was paid to fund a project at origin that helps the most vulnerable in the coffee supply chain. The project meets the following criteria:
It was chosen by the intended beneficiaries to address an urgent need in the farm-working or nearby community.
It was, or is in the process of being, implemented jointly by us and the farmer or producer.
The results are documented in detail on our website, as is the amount of the premium paid by us for the project.
The percentage of coffee held in inventory by us that meets the above criteria must always exceed 95%. The specific percentage is disclosed here.
* The FOB price is the customary standard in the coffee industry for establishing the price paid, and we ascribe the customary meaning to it, i.e., FOB is the price paid for the coffee at the port of loading. All expenses incurred prior to that point are incurred by the farmer, producer, or exporter, and all expenses incurred after loading, including ocean fright, shipping, and insurance are not in the FOB price and are borne by us separately. The FOB price does not include any amounts allocated to social projects.
** The reason that we might purchase from a producer rather than a farmer directly is that, in some coffee-growing regions of the world, small farmers do not have the capacity to fully process their coffee. In order for their coffee to be made ready for export, the farmers sell the coffee cherry or partially-processed coffee to a 'producer' with whom we have a direct relationship and the price paid the producer to the farmer is disclosed by us as the farmgate price.