Our Promise: From A Better Place
Transparency And Relationships
Are core values at the heart of our organization, and emblematic of our approach to responsible sourcing. Discover the story, people and places behind each of our coffeeson each coffee's single coffee product page.
Mills, Exporters, Importers
In order to support the businesses of smallholder farmers located in very remote geographies and countries, we need to work with intermediaries. These intermediaries are commonly, but not limited to, Mills, Co-operative structures, Exporters and Importers. Sometimes the producing groups we purchase from Mill and Export their own coffee, other times, not. Our importers are based in the USA and Europe, and are very active on the ground in the producing countries they buy and trade from, either in form of regular trips, employees in producing countries, or offices in producing countries where they operate. This enables them to build trust with their producer partners, and to better understand the personalized needs of each farming community when it comes to co-creating social or economic improvement projects that our purchases directly support. Check out our import partners here: https://www.croptocup.com/ https://www.sucafina.com/ https://www.interamericancoffee.com/ https://www.atlascoffee.com/ http://www.redfoxcoffeemerchants.com/ We buy from importers when we know that supporting their projects with our purchasing power will have a greater impact on more people than we could have on our own. Our import partners move our coffee from country of origin to our roasting facility in Montreal. These intermediaries share our belief that commerce can be a vehicle for social and economic justice.
Reducing Price Volatility For Farmers
Like all businesses, no one coffee farm has the same operating costs, productivity or profitability ratios. This said, most small-scale coffee farmers share one economic reality: the costs to produce a pound of coffee far exceeds the commercial "C-price" for a pound of coffee. This is a critical issue that threatens coffee farmers livelihoods, and the sustainability of our industry.
The conventional economic model for valuing a pound of coffee on the market has historically and still today failed to consider farmer profitability. Coffee producers are currently facing a price crisis after decades of commercial prices for their crop falling below their operating costs. This price crises is inextricably linked to cascading social crises, including generational farm abandonment, lack of funds to invest in productivity and quality of their farms, lack of access to healthcare and education, and food insecurity, to name a few. We are part of a network of actors working to build alternative and more equitable economic models. We purchase coffee in a private market where value and pricing can be negotiated directly between farmers and buyers. Together, we work with farming communities, local mill owners and exporters to fix prices that are higher and more stable year to year than the alternative commercial floor price which fluctuates dramatically based on global supply and demand, or weather patterns. We recognize that there is much more to be done as a Specialty Coffee industry, and within our own value chain to increase economic agency and equity for coffee producers, and we will continue to share our best practices and objectives on this front, as we engage in deeper price discovery within our supply chains, and establish new benchmarks.
Reducing Our Environmental Impact
The activities required to produce and commercialize coffee create carbon emissions of a very high intensity. Being a vertically integrated operation that sources, roasts and retails, we work to continuously reduce our carbon impact at every stage of our coffee's lifecycle. We have ambition to measure and publish reports on these impacts, but until we do, here are some operational decisions we are committed to.
Just under 2/3 of the environmental impact in coffee's lifecycle from farming to consuming, occurs in the country of consumption (commercialization and brewing coffee). Here are some initiatives we have committed to in order to reduce our company's carbon emissions: Sourcing, cultivation, processing: > 42% of our coffees came from Organic certified co-ops* > We donate $0.03 c/kg of coffee purchased through participating importers to World Coffee Research whose mission is to create a toolbox of coffee varieties, genetic resources and accompanying technologies and to disseminate them strategically and collaboratively in producing countries to alleviate constraints to the supply chain of high quality coffee. *From a recent case study on the diversity of our supply chains that scanned comparable datasets from 22 of our coffee purchases between 2017 and 2020 Roasting packaging, shipping and distribution: > Roasting with an afterburner. Coffee roasters emit various pollutants including methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. We have installed an afterburner in our roasting facility, which is one way to reduce these emissions by burning the smoke from roasted coffee at a very high temperature. Since we established our roasting facility we've seen great improvements to roasting technology, and look forward to implementing more energy efficient equipment into our roastery when we inevitably expand our operations. > Donating our experimental and waste roasted coffee on a recurring basis to these community organizations: Moisson Montreal, Native Women's Shelter or Mile End Mission. > Choosing biodegradable packaging material for our retail coffee bags, see our manufacturing partners here. > Packaging our café coffee for service in reusable buckets instead of disposable 5LB bags > We have two zero emission shipment options in Montreal for our online orders - Bike courier delivery with local courrier partners Chasseurs Courrieur, and Pick-Up in Store Retail operations: > Composting coffee grinds and food waste at 2/3 of our Montreal café locations to reduce landfill contributions > Incentivizing our customers to bring reusable mugs by offering a $0.25 c discount > Working with local food suppliers for our pastry and dairy in order to maintain a shorter supply lifecycle
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