One of the sourcing partnerships that we're most proud of. By working together with the exporter, we helped improve coffee quality, increased traceability to farm level, and supported coffee drying infrastructure on farms. From a coffee that was of variable quality, to a coffee that is integral to our most popular blends, shines as a single origin, and gives back to the community.
The Coffee: Colombia Pescador
Farmer: 400 Smallholder Farms
Buyer: Mario Trochez
The Pescador buying station is located in the Cauca region of Colombia in the central Colombian Andes, not far from the city of Cali. Coffee is grown by smallholders with farms of roughly 1 to 5 hectares in size. The coffee is almost all shade-grown using very few industrial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Cherries are pulped, washed and dried on farms and sold locally to buying stations in the area, like the Pescador station. To supplement their income, farmers also frequently grow corn, cassava and plantain.
The coffee we source from Colombia is an essential component of our Allpress Espresso Blend and A.R.T. Espresso Roast. Colombian coffees add acidity to our blends, provide balance in the form of milk chocolate and caramel sweetness.
We were experiencing some inconsistency in coffee quality from Colombia, and we wanted to see an increase in the quality, consistency and traceability of the coffee we were buying. As we had been working with our exporter Racafe for several years, we wanted to find a collaborative solution to sustain and strengthen our ongoing relationship rather than seeking a new partner.
We worked closely with Racafe, and local coffee-buyer Mario Trochez, to establish an exclusive coffee for Allpress. Together we worked on a quality standard and a traceability framework for the best quality coffee from the Pescador area. The Pescador station checks the moisture, aroma, size, defect count, and yield factor of the coffee. Prices based on quality are clearly displayed and communicated to farmers. All well-processed parchment coffee that meets the highest quality criteria is bought for the Pescador lot at a premium and with several buyers competing in the area, growers are free to sell to any of them but they tend to go back to Mario because he pays the best prices for quality coffee, and he even provides a collection service for the farmers as a further incentive.
Each farmer’s name, location and the quantity that was purchased is recorded for each harvest and shared with Allpress. This traceability allows Mario and Racafe to initiate educational sessions for the growing community to give them better skills and knowledge around drying and processing coffee, as well as providing building materials and plans for the construction of “drying tunnels,” wood frame structures with plastic sheeting as walls and roofs, to protect the coffee from rain and pests. The result is more uniform drying and better quality coffee – meaning more income for the farmer.
Our customised buying arrangement in the region of Pescador, Cauca is a bespoke sourcing model that financially supports small growers and encourages consistency of flavour, traceability and quality through education.