How we source
Supporting small-scale farmers
A smallholder farmer holds under 10 hectares of land. For reference, one hectare of farming land is about the size of a football field. Size of land determines the number of coffee trees, meaning smallholder farmers produce very little in a year. Annual yields can ranges from a few hundred kilograms to a few thousand kilograms, meaning smallholder farmers feel the impact of price and climate volatility the hardest. Of the many actors and transaction points in a traditional supply chain, smallholder farmers and farmworkers see the smallest returns on every pound of coffee sold and often rely on many intermediaries who take a cut between them and buyers. Sometimes we buy from individual farm owners and may purchase their entire annual production, but the majority of our coffee is produced by groups of smallholder farmers called co-operatives or producers associations. Other times we’ll buy from washing stations that purchase fresh coffee from smallholders in the region, transform and export it, and provide services to the farming community. These systems allow very small farmers to gain access to the marketplace, and oftentimes, provide an alternative to the commodities market where they would make far less return for their crop. You can learn about such initiatives on every coffee's single product detail page.
Considering farmer profitability
We purchase our coffee through a private market called the specialty market, where prices are negotiated above the commodity floor price. In this market, value and pricing can be negotiated directly between farmers and buyers. Coffee prices are complex, and so is farmer profitability. High price paid to farmer doesn’t mean profitability. That is because cost of productions vary farm to farm, geography to geography. Farm profitability relies on many variables beyond price per pound, including but not limited to weather patterns, crop productivity and yield, plant varietals, cost of farm management and labour, and personalized social and household expenses. We purchase coffee trough trusted importers who in turn purchase from exporters, co-operatives or washing stations. In any of these supply chains, our importers are accountable to tracking the use returns from our purchase premiums as they are reinvested by co-op leaders or washing station owners into various social, economic, or environmental improvement projects.
Encouraging sustainable agriculture
> 100% of our coffees are shade grown
> Many of our coffees are certified Organic or Rainforest Alliance certified coffees, you will find the certification on each coffee's single product page every single product page
> If a coffee does not have an environmental certification, we buy from non-certified organic farms
> For every kg of coffee we sell, we donate a portion of proceeds towards World Coffee Research