Our aim it so provide coffee that has lots of flavour and is sourced ethically.
We work with speciality coffee exclusively and do not touch commodity coffee.
We work closely with our importers, using various green bean importers, and always pay above the Fairtrade price. Some of our coffees happen to be Fairtrade and others are Rain Forest Alliance however we do not market them like this. We prefer to choose coffee based on quality and we do this by blind cupping. Our aim is also to have the most effective production so that we can offer top notch coffee at a competitive price. We are now in the position where we are large enough to be able to order containers of coffee and still small enough to care! How we source our coffee has a massive impact on the price for you and I think that is one of the reasons why we can offer such high quality at a very competitive price.
By only sourcing Fairtrade certified coffee, there is a large part of the speciality coffee market we would be missing out on. Fairtrade is a certification process that is based on a base price, working standards and the standard of production. A farm is audited to ensure it meets these standards. This is one way in which we can have confidence that this coffee has been sourced fairly. However, for many coffee farmers, especially those that are smaller and therefore more specialised, achieving Fairtrade certification is not possible. The process is costly, requires resources and can put their business at risk. What is interesting is that the premium that is often imposed on Fairtrade coffee doesn't always end up in the farmer's pocket as the organisation needs to be paid for the process of certification to be carried out and maintained. Another point to consider is that this certification process does not include a quality rating. This means that a farmer focusing on quality production that would then go on to produce speciality grade coffee, is able to charge much more than a farmer that is certified Fairtrade with bad quality coffee.