Fair Beans: Coffee Brands that Practice Direct Trade
If you’re like most folks, morning starts with coffee. But before coffee can get to your cup, it makes its way from trees to the processing wet-mill, to the dry-mill that preps it for exportation, and finally to the buying coffee company. The companies who provide our daily brew are at the end of the line, and typically they buy green [unroasted] beans from an importer—without ever interacting with the people who grew it. Sourcing this way keeps everyone in the dark and can leave the producer undervalued without a lot of flexibility. A direct relationship between the grower and roaster is where the magic happens; it ensures an ethical product and an extraordinary coffee. These are a few of the companies that make it their mission to source their coffees directly from the farmers themselves.
Klatch coffee visits every producer it works with, and some it doesn’t, in hopes of coming across a truly unique coffee. Klatch sources their coffees by paying a minimum 25% above commodity pricing. As their search for a better coffee is their driving force, they believe subsidies in coffee are counterproductive. Their belief is that the most outstanding coffees should demand the highest price.
Ruby’s focus on sourcing in coffee is to be entirely immersed. As a company they have been involved in all aspects of growing coffees. Now they continue to directly source coffees from producers, while acting as a soundboard for less experienced producers. As such, their coffees tend to be mostly micro lots of less than 100lbs. Traditional coffee lots can be in the 10,000 pounds.
This brand specializes in agronomy, aka, they’re dirt experts. By helping enable the farmers to produce a healthier crop of fruit, the growers see increases in quality. In addition to the benefit to the crops, Coava also pays minimums and places expectations on Co-ops prior to engaging in sourcing.
With 25 years of sourcing coffee at origin, their main focus has been sustainability. That experience allows for a thorough knowledge of the history and growth of a producer. With that history comes a responsibility to transfer the value in a linear way from grower to consumer.
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