Erik Rosendahl, CEO of our sister roastery KAFFA Oslo, and Robert from CCS recently traveled to Costa Rica to distribute funds raised through the Rema 1000 Fund, an initiative between KAFFA and Rema 1000, a supermarket chain in Norway. As part of its mission to become one of Norway’s leading suppliers of organic and sustainable food products, Rema 1000 bought a farm-to-table restaurant chain in Norway called Kolonihagen. KAFFA now supplies Rema 1000 with specialty roasted coffee under the Kolonihagen brand, and CCS is sourcing the green coffee.
The clear advantage of supermarket distribution is that KAFFA can sell specialty coffee at a lower price than ever before. “Early in the planning stage we said that we would do that on one condition: we would pay more to the producers and their workers,” said Erik.
From the outset of the project, all four companies involved agreed to charge an additional 2 Norwegian Kroner (NOK) per bag (approx. $0.23 USD) to support the people employed on the farms where we source the coffee.
In Costa Rica we distributed $15,869 USD raised through the sale of 67,080 bags of coffee from Montes de Oro in Tarrazu to Emilio Gamboa and his workers.
Emilio Gamboa runs the farm with his wife and father, Tutto. Emilio and Tutto where one of the first farms building their own micro mill back in 2007 and Robert, then buying for KAFFA, was one of his first customers. For many years almost the entire production of Emilios coffee was sold to Stumptown, but with the large volume of coffee needed for Kolonihagen, and as Emilios production increased, we were able to return to buying from this producer.
The money was split between the owners of the farm and the permanent workers, some of whom have worked for Emilio since the mill was built twelve years ago. The amount paid to each worker was equivalent to 2-3 months of salary.
“It was a joy to see how Emilio runs his farms and the micro mill. The distribution ceremony was held at the local restaurant Chicharronera San Francisco, with prayers, tears and an Argentinian one-man-band entertaining us all, followed by cake for Robert’s birthday,” said Erik.