Our sourcing model is called Social Project Coffee
Why Is A New Coffee Sourcing Model Needed?
Because no industry needs radical transparency more than the coffee industry.
Certification models attempt to provide scalable, one-size-fits-all solutions to issues across the coffee growing world. To date, the focus of responsible sourcing (whether Fair Trade or Direct Trade) has been on paying a premium price for coffee. In many cases, however, there is no guarantee that this extra money paid to farm owners (or cooperatives) actually makes its way to the farm laborers, who are the most vulnerable in the coffee supply chain. Certainly there is no clear, direct link between dollars paid for certified coffee in your local shop and helping a particular farm worker—who may be living with dirt floors and a leaky roof.
We developed Social Project Coffee so that there is a clear, direct connection between the coffee in your cup and helping the most vulnerable in the coffee supply chain.
What Is Social Project Coffee?
Social Project Coffee means all of the following are true:
Direct Purchasing Relationship.
Green coffee is purchased directly from the farmer or producer by the importer/roaster.
The FOB price* paid to the farmer or producer is at least 50% more than the current Fair Trade minimum as published by the Fair Trade Labeling Organization (FLO).
The FOB price is made publicly available on the importer/roaster’s website, and supporting documentation regarding pricing is provided upon reasonable request. In the event that the purchase of green coffee is 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 is paid by importer/roaster to fund a project at origin that helps the most vulnerable in the coffee supply chain. The project must meet the following criteria:
The project is chosen by the intended beneficiaries to address an urgent need in the farm-working or nearby community.
The project is implemented jointly by the importer/roaster and the farmer or producer.
The results are documented in detail on the importer/roaster’s website, as is the amount of the premium paid by importer/roaster for the project.
In order to be a Social Project Coffee Importer and Roaster, such importer or roaster must also satisfy the following additional requirement:
Each quarter the importer/roaster must state on its website the amount of Social Project Coffee maintained in inventory expressed as a percentage of importer/roaster’s overall green coffee inventory, which percentage shall never less be than 95%.
* 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, ans 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.