We are committed to responsible and transparent trade.

We support the businesses of small scale farmers

There are three main archetypes of coffee farms in the world: commodity agri-businesses, large estates and smallholder farms (less than 10 hectares of land). We choose to support the businesses of small-scale farmers, and increase their access to market. Read about the farmers and co-ops we work with on their respective single coffee product pages.

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. For smallholders, 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. 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.

We demand price transparency

Price paid to farmer as an indicator of impact is complex, as it does not necessarily correlate with household profitability for a farming family. That's because different farms have different cost structures, and coffee agriculture as a sole source of household income is most often not sustainable. That said, we strive to pay at least 2x above the commercial price for coffee to our importers, and only purchase coffee when we have traceability that our premiums are being invested at the co-operative or farm-level into drivers of long term social and economic sustainability.

We purchase our coffee through a private market called the specialty market, where prices are negotiated above the commodity floor price, which, today, falls at well below the cost of production for the average small scale farmer. In this private market, value and pricing can be negotiated directly between farmers and buyers. We purchase coffee trough trusted importers who in turn purchase from exporters, co-operatives or washing stations. Accessing price paid to farmer in all supply chains is very challenging, but we are continuously working on long term price and payment discovery with our supply chain partners.

We invest in sustainable agriculture

The Arabica coffee tree is at risk of extinction. This matters because it is the species that produces most of our world's coffee. Climate change and decades of unsustainable commercial farming have depleted soil nutrients and threaten biodiversity that allows coffee plants to thrive. The result of this impacts not only our environment, but decreasing yields and incomes for many smallholder farmers.

> 100% of our coffees are shade grown > This year, 40% of our coffees were organic certified. 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 > We are part of the WCR Checkoff program. For every kg of coffee we sell, we donate a portion of proceeds towards World Coffee Research

Today, our premiums support these projects:

> The purchase of new coffee tree seedlings > Farm-management training > The purchase of productivity inputs like fertilizer and mulch > Food security initiatives > Income diversification projects > Gender equity training > Investment in youth education > Access to healthcare

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