On a trip to Colombia, we met a coffee farmer who had worked an entire day on the farm. Shockingly, he did not make enough money to buy dinner. The more people we talked to, the more we realized that it was prevalent among coffee farmers.
The price of coffee from the farm is only a little over a dollar a pound. To our knowledge, a pound of the beans can get about 22 cups of coffee. It does not add up how coffee in the US could be so expensive, and yet the farmers make so little.
We made some trips to South America and did our research. We learned that the reason why coffee farmers get poor pay is that there are too many hands in the cookie jar. Most of the coffee money goes to the pockets of many different middlemen on their way to the consumer.
The farm coffee moves from the farmer to the CO-OP, who then sell it to more substantial companies. Before the coffee reaches the consumer, it goes through the wholesalers, distributors, coffee shops, and grocery stores. The coffee goes through a long supply chain. We shorten this journey.
During the research, we were able to make friends with many different coffee farmers, and they educated us on the process as well as the different types of coffee. Through this, we were able to build trust as well as some great friendships. We have partnered with some farms in South America that wanted to sell their coffee in the USA.
Eventually, we made a plan that would allow us to get the best quality coffee without having to pay intermediaries. In turn, the coffee farmers receive a fair price and our customers receive a superior product.
At Reveille, we believe it always matters:
·When coffee shops trade directly with farmers and farms
·That the best specialty coffee sells in the USA
·South American farmers get a chance to sell their coffee in the US market
·Coffee farmers make better returns and can afford a decent meal after a day of work