Living Our Values

Supporting farm labour

The following is an excerpt from our report Collaborative Coffee Source, Living Our Values 2017


In 2017, CCS and our sister company Kaffa celebrated twelve years of working with San Vicente and the farmers of Santa Barbara, Honduras. This relationship has been fruitful, yields have never been higher, quality has never been better.

This is a great achievement, and we take great pride in the dedication of these farmers, and our small contribution as long-term buyers. But a relationship like this holds an even greater power.

 A coffee picker in Santa Barbara who stands to benefit from the new payment structure. This and the banner photo both taken on a Hasselblad by Tuuka Koski.

A coffee picker in Santa Barbara who stands to benefit from the new payment structure. This and the banner photo both taken on a Hasselblad by Tuuka Koski.

After twelve years of working together, we can speak differently in Santa Barbara. We can be more direct, we can trust that our partners are looking out for us and our partners can do the same. With our friends in Santa Barbara we have been able to discuss delicate issues like poverty and the livelihoods of coffee pickers and farm workers.

There is a fine line between a suggestion and a requirement. It is one thing to expose ignorance, it is entirely another to disrespect cultural differences and inter-relational dynamics in the communities that we only visit for a few days each year. We have to acknowledge that we don’t live our farming partners’ lives.

Still, our vision is to bring quality, prosperity and community to everyone in coffee, and that includes farm employees, many of whom are friends and neighbors of the farmers.

From a frank conversation with our friends in Santa Barbara, a new initiative was born. In 2017 we increased the FOB price to $4.25/4.50 per pound as the base price for an 86-points lot, and farm gate prices increased proportionally. We asked the farmers to use that premium to pay their farm-workers and pickers more.

It is not a condition, rather a request. This increase of $0.50/lb. from last season is intended to give farmers the financial means to distribute some of their profits to their workers. When we visit Honduras again in 2018 we will report to you the progress of this initiative.

Living Our Values: The Right People in the Market

The following is an excerpt from our report Collaborative Coffee Source, Living Our Values 2017

Core to our way of doing business is building long-term relationships with producers and roasters, and between producers and roasters. Here are a few of our cherished roasters who share in this mission.

 Sidney Kao tries the fruit of a Gesha coffee cherry for the first time. 

Sidney Kao tries the fruit of a Gesha coffee cherry for the first time. 

Robert Kao (Sweet Beans)

Sidney Kao, owner of Robert Kao (named after his father), was one of CCS’ very first customers, certainly our first in East Asia, and since the beginning he has
been one of our most ardent and loyal supporters. We were first introduced by
Pèi-Yuan Hsu, a mutual Taiwanese friend who lived in Oslo. Sid immediately
understood our mission to develop long-term partnerships with producers,
and he has remained faithful to many of the producers of the coffees he first
purchased five years ago.

Sid is a pioneer and leading coffee professional in Taiwan, and a true
coffee craftsman (though he would feel deeply embarrassed to read this). His
meticulousness and passion in both roasting and brewing coffee is unmatched.
To have Sid prepare you a syphon brew is quite simply to experience coffee
magic.


Belleville Brûlerie

Thomas Lehoux and David Flynn co-founded Belleville Brûlerie in 2013, after
a frustrated search for roasted coffee that met their needs. Paris is an
espresso-loving city but Thomas and David wanted to provide Paris coffee
drinkers with great coffees that expressed their best selves in every
preparation.

Belleville’s roasting and brewing philosophy is to keep things simple: use high
quality green coffee and roast it in such a way that highlights sweetness and
lets the coffee’s best characteristics shine. To this end, Belleville doesn’t
push its customers to adopt varied or complicated brew methods.


Parlor Coffee Roasters

In true Brooklyn style, Parlor Coffee Roasters began as an espresso bar in the back of a barbershop. Today it is one of Brooklyn’s most iconic coffee roasters. We
were introduced to Parlor’s founder, Dillon Edwards, by David Stallings, CCS’
former Director of Purchasing and Parlor’s first Director of Coffee. David met
Robert (CCS’ co-founder) at the Pulley Collective, a shared roasting facility
in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Dillon joined us for the CCS Acevedo Cup 2018, and was greeted by the producers as an old friend. In fact, it was his fourth trip to the region in just two years.
His genuine joy at seeing these producers again, and the great respect he shows for their work, is why Dillon and Parlor are amongst our most treasured roasters. Dillon clearly share CCS’ vision that coffee sourcing is about finding beautiful coffees from cherished producers.

Download the full report The following is an excerpt from our report Collaborative Coffee Source, Living Our Values 2017