Nurturing direct relationships has allowed us to find great-tasting, ethical coffee and means the farmers, mills and co-ops we work with have a reliable partner season to season.
We believe in working directly with partners at origin to source coffee for the long term. We buy 87% of our coffee through 15 partnerships in 7 countries. We have been working with the majority of our partners for over 5 years, and our longest relationship dates back to 2001, the year we started buying from origin. Nurturing these relationships has allowed us to find great-tasting, ethical coffee and means the farmers, mills and co-ops we work with have a reliable partner season to season.
Our export partners all do great things with their farmer and co-op partners and their communities. From reinvesting to help increase quality, helping access credit, to programmes aimed at building gender equity. We've put together some examples below, but there's much more to learn on our partners' websites.
Racafe - Produces a yearly sustainability report based around 22 indicators of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and its performance against them. They have also created a field log that helps them score each farm and producer group they visit against these goals. Their aim for the producers they work with is to improve environmental practices, improve farmer and farmworker quality of life, and increase coffee quality. For more information, read about how Racafe helped us set up a fully traceable regional coffee called Pescador.
NKG Bloom - Neumann Kaffee Gruppe (including Stockler and SKN Caribecafe) has set up a support system for smallholder farmers in Uganda, Honduras, Kenya and Mexico. It aims to address the financing challenges that many of the world’s coffee farmers face accessing lines of credit because of their size. This means that they struggle to invest in growing their farm and the quality of their product. NKG has set up NKG Bloom as a way of providing financing to smallholder farmers while promoting environmental sustainability, traceability and transparency. Their goal is to positively impact the lives of 300,000 producers around the world through this programme by 2030.
Olam - 97% of the coffees Olam sells are certified by Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, 4C or other third-party certification and 100% of their coffees are traceable. Read more about their sustainability practices here. They have also launched an online service, AtSource, a monitoring platform for their sustainability goals, traceability and transparency of supply chain. Through AtSource they aim to help farmers increase yields and income, provide lines of credit to producers, and to promote community wellbeing, safe and decent work, climate action, water conservation, waste reduction, biodiversity conservation and soil health.
Cofinet - Promote agroforestry through sharing of shade trees for free with producers they work with, promote water conservation through processing methods that use less water than the traditional “washed” coffees but preserve great flavour, teach producers how to process their own coffee and give them the tools to process up to 40% of their own harvest for free - thereby increasing the amount they can charge for their coffee - and have developed women-only co-ops to promote gender equity in coffee.
Royal Coffee - Our oldest sourcing partnership, we have been buying coffee from Royal since 2000. They are a pioneer of sustainable coffee in the USA, buying mainly Organic and Fair Trade certified coffees. They publish lots of information on their website about the suppliers they work with, and sustainability issues in coffee that need to be addressed. One way they are working on this is through increased transparency with their “farmgate” series of coffees. Coffees that feature increased price transparency across the supply chain for confidence that the farmer is receiving a fair price for coffee.