We work with a small selection of green coffee importers to source our coffees from across the globe. Farm vitality, social and environmental impact at origin, and the health of our import staff are all pillars of our green coffee purchasing guidelines. Every coffee we offer is guaranteed to meet or exceed Fair Trade minimums for green coffee pricing, and each importer we work with is heavily invested in farm-level support programming. Our importers are chosen for their dedication to the relationships they have and maintain with our farmers, their exporters, and their communities. Below are examples of programs our importers have in place to support and sustain our farmers. Check back as new projects launch. If you're ever curious what we paid for our green coffee, just ask 

Farm Gate Pricing

"Farm Gate" is the title used by the folks at Coffee Shrub, one of our specialty coffee importers (and all around great bunch) to describe their pricing model in which they guarantee to pay their farmers at least 50% above Fair Trade minimums, and often 100%+ over FTM. In their words -- 

 Farm Gate pricing means that we have negotiated a price directly with the farmer "at the farm gate," that is, without any of the confusing export and import fees. The prices we pay for our coffees are above Fair Trade minimums, and with our Farm Gate coffees we can easily verify that the good price we pay makes it to the people who do the work, and are responsible for the great cup quality of our coffee. Farm Gate is a simple principle that allows coffee producers to make premium prices in reward for coffee quality, and to reinvest to improve quality even more in the future.

 

Cafe Imports' Pesos Per Carga Initiative

We love the staff at Cafe Imports for routinely raising the bar of green coffee import standards. The program they have launched in select Colombian farming regions is an inspiring example of industry leadership and all around do-goodery. The Colombian government subsidy for its coffee farmers is measured in Pesos Per Carga (an outdated unit of measurement which roughly translates to how many sacks of product will fit on the back of a donkey). In today's currency, the price per carga paid to farmers is too low for many farmers to break even, let alone receive a profit on which to live. It's a subsistence allowance that most farmers can't survive on. Cafe Imports has initiated a pilot program to link the price per carga to the quality of coffee provided, not just the quantity. We've been blown away by the Colombian coffees we've experienced in the last two years and Cafe Imports continues to play a significant role in supporting farmers to achieve these results. Here's how they describe their program -- 

We have been working on a program with this group of producers where we offer them an additional 135,000 P\pesos per carga (250 lbs) when they tender coffee below 11% moisture and above 86 points on the cupping table. For coffees that are above 88 points, we keep them separate by producer and call them microlots, and, of course, pay even more. They have been extremely pleased with these premiums, and we are happy to be able to develop for market, some of the best coffees in this region of Colombia.
Farmers in San Augustin, Colombia host a group of importers for a party in a village schoolhouse