Reflecting back upon the year we had in 2021, it's safe to say that we here at Olympia Coffee had our resilience, determination, and commitment tested yet again. Yet we are proud to have pulled through another unpredictable year and stayed true to our core mission: to improve the quality of life of our farmers and staff by providing quality service to our community.
We release our Coffee Transparency Report every year in an effort to be as transparent as possible in how we do business within our industry and within our communities. This 2022 report reflects data gathered from 2021, including volumes purchased and prices paid.
Here's an at-a-glance overview of this year's report:
- In 2021, we sourced over 340,000 pounds of green coffee.
- Over 100,000 farmers have earned prices for their coffee that are at least 50% above the local average in their community.
- Having to work remotely meant communicating with producers via video chats, phone calls, and texts and doing our best to assess the standards of our Fair For All criteria. We relied exclusively on our long-term relationships, and every coffee we purchased was from long-established producer partners.
Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide
Olympia Coffee continues to be a data donor to the annual Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide produced by Emory University. Commodity prices in the coffee industry continue to create a volatile business environment, so this data is crucial to helping farmers make informed decisions, particularly because this is not information easily attained by individual producers. From 2020 to 2021, the average prices paid for green coffee rose, an increase felt more dramatically in the lower quality range for coffee but still very present in the specialty coffee segment.
In 2021, we remained committed to fair compensation for our farmers at origin for the quality coffee they produce.
Three years ago, we signed The Pledge in conjunction with coffee industry leaders in an effort to promote transparency surrounding the prices paid to coffee farmers. This growing cohort can collectively increase awareness for coffee consumers by informing them of whether or not their purchases are being fairly distributed to everyone in the supply chain. The Pledge is not a certification, but rather a promise made to adhere to to principle of transparency as a driver to grow equity.
B Corporation Certification
Certified B Corporations meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. The performance standards required of B Corps are comprehensive, transparent, and verified.
Olympia Coffee underwent the rigorous auditing procedures in 2019 to become a certified B Corp as part of our commitment to lead the industry in transparent coffee sourcing and to have a measurable positive impact for our staff and communities.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion + Living Wage Certification
This year, we continued to build and strengthen our company as a place committed to quality of life for all our staff. Following up on our partnership with Rise LWP and the internal equity audit they helped us perform in 2020, we formed a permanent Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Team with the mission of holding our company accountable toward becoming agents of change within our workplace, in our communities, and in our industry.
We also began the process of becoming Living Wage Certified, a process that culminated in receiving our certification from Living Wage for Us.
- This year, we are focused on bringing joy through value coffees. Over the past two years we have seen the fastest growth in the value tier of our lineup, and we are adding more offerings in these price ranges with a strong focus on Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. The coffees in this category have broad appeal and are priced attractively, bringing joy to a lot of people both in our cafes and through our website.
- Throughout the entire history of Olympia Coffee, more than 50 percent of the coffees we’ve roasted have been Certified Organic. In 2022, we are pushing this up to about 75 percent. This will be the biggest one-year increase of Certified Organic, Fair For All, and sustainably produced coffees we have ever undergone.
Every year, we remain deeply grateful to you, our customers and communities, who support us and our commitment to quality coffee and quality of life. We wouldn't be able to do this without you. The road through the pandemic has been long, it's by no means over— but, with the partnership of our farmers, staff, and communities, we can look forward to a bright 2022.