In every location we work in around the world we have a big impact on the lives of the farmers we work with.One year ago we began sourcing our coffees under our Fair For All standards. Each and every coffee we source and roast meets these standards.
• We pay more than double the Fair Trade rate for all of our coffees. Our minimum price (FOB) will remain at $3.50 per pound.
• We will set coffee prices directly with the farmer, to ensure transparency.
• We will now guarantee a sustainable minimum wage to all laborers involved the production of our coffee (pickers, processors, and farm workers), set seasonally with the farm owner or cooperative board.
• We will work only with farmers who provide safe working conditions free of unnecessary danger, oppression, and violence and with access to clean water and healthy foods.
• We will visit each farm or producer group every year to provide feedback for improved quality and opportunity for growth.
• We will purchase coffees with quality standards of 85 points or higher according to SCA cupping standards.
I wanted to take a moment to share a few highlights to larger impacts we are having as company with our farmers so far in 2018.
1. 15% of planet earth’s Oxygen is created from the dense rainforest’s of Central Africa. 50% of the continent. With more than 90% of households in Central Africa involved in agriculture, and human population growing at 3% per year, demand for agricultural land is increasing, as is the scale of forest transformation. Every day in Burundi, 5 acres of forest are cleared.
So, we are doing something about this. This year in partnership with the Long Miles Coffee Project we have committed to a reforestation project on the Hills of Mikuba and Gitwe where we buy coffee. For every pound of coffee we purchase we will be planting a tree. From July to December of this year 26,400 trees will be planted on these two hills, donated by Olympia Coffee.
2. In El Salvador, speaking English provides on average, a 30% higher wage. Opportunity for children in El Salvador starts with education. This year we have team up with Ricardo, and Kate Ariz to hire an English teacher who will teach 2 hour long lessons each week, to the school at Ojo de Agua village. 24 students ages 5-15, will get one on one English language tutoring . Our support will be linked into the purchase we made this year essentially taxing ourselves $ .50 per lb for all the coffee we purchased from Ricardo’s El Aguila farm. We have financed the teacher salary with our purchases at $7,500 for the school year, The Ariz family has matched our contribution equally.
3. I want to take a moment to talk about Colombia. Roughly half of all the coffee we purchase is from Colombia. Because of our growth as a company we were able to grow 18% in Colombia alone this year.
We raised our network of female producers 10% this year as well.
This year we made the choice to support Amparo Pajoy even further be agreeing to purchase 100% of her harvest at fixed prices eliminating all her risk and giving us more opportunity for experimentation and pushing quality.
Also in Colombia, we moved from purchasing 48% Certified Organic to 60% Organic. Leaving a positive impact on our planet as well as the people who grow our coffee.
Every day each of us support our mission to improve the lives of our coffee farmers, by greeting a customer, pulling a perfect espresso, moping the floors, perfecting our roast profiles, creating a great experience for our customers we are showing the care, respect, and passion for our coffees and honoring these producers who without them we would have nothing.
I want to thank you all for believing in me too, all of you allow me to do the work that I’m deeply passionate about. A lot of companies have great coffee. But I’m pretty sure, we are the one company that is doing the best work to improve the lives for our farmers.
- Oliver Stormshak