our ethos

We’re committed to bringing quality coffee & people together. We take our commitment to the environment & future generations of coffee drinkers seriously too. Our aim is to partner with like-minded people around the globe who share our focus for quality, sustainability & social responsibility & ensure we leave the industry (and the earth) in a better position than we found it.

Here you’ll find a list of our sustainability actions – check back for updates on our progress in this area.

our coffee

We make every effort to ensure that the green coffees we purchase are sourced ethically and responsibly with a focus on environmental sustainability. Like many roasters, our blends are our biggest sellers and, due to the sheer volume of green bean purchased, have the biggest impact environmentally too. So, it was here we originally focused our attention;

Our Brazilian is sourced directly from Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza meaning ‘environmental fortress farm’, a sustainable farm with a focus on organic practices, relationships & producing high quality coffees. Here they offer their workers a 50% share of the coffees they plant to give each member a real sense of ownership. They’ve also been the recipients of Sustainability awards from the Specialty Coffee Association.

The Indian, we’ve sourced from Chikmagalur, which forms part of the Western Ghats, one of the few vitally important global eco hotspots. The farmers in this region take particular care to grow shade-grown, environmentally responsible coffee with the knowledge that their farming practices and sustainability can have global ramifications.

Our Honduras is the product of our newest direct-trade relationship with Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera, the husband & wife team behind El Puente Estate. Marysabel and Moises stand out as top producers with a genuine focus on putting resources back into the local community. Even giving up a portion of their farmland to build a school for the local children.

While all our coffees are sourced ethically & responsibly, our 142 Organic coffee is certified both Fair Trade & Organic. In order to obtain these certifications, the coffees, farms & processes undertaken need to have ticked all the right boxes.

We also offset every one of our emissions by purchasing carbon credits from renewable energy programs around the world. This means each one of our products is 100% carbon neutral. The carbon offset program also covers the transport of our coffee to our café partners around the country, as well as staff travel, electricity, etc.

transparency

We strongly believe in paying producers a premium price for quality coffees and investing back into their communities & businesses. We achieve this firstly, through building long-term relationships with the farmers we source our green bean from and trading direct wherever possible. This ensures the producers receive 100% of the agreed price, we aren’t paying third parties to broker, source or import the beans. Secondly, we aim to agree on a fair price that ensures the producers not only make a profit but are able to re-invest into their farm & future crops.

You’ve probably heard other roasters discussing the amount they pay farmers in reference to the C Price or the Fairtrade Price. Let’s break those down in detail first…

What is the C Price?  Green coffee is traded as a commodity, a raw material that can be bought & sold on the exchange market. The trading price of Arabica on the Intercontinental Exchange in New York is known as the C Price, and it’s this figure that determines the price of coffee around the world. With coffee being used as a financial tool, the market can be volatile, with wide price fluctuations year to year. Unfortunately, the C Price isn’t linked to the cost of production & this can have an unfair impact on producers. At times, coffee prices can drop below the cost of producing the coffee & threaten the livelihood of many families who rely on the C Price to sell their green bean.

What is the Fairtrade Minimum Price? The Fairtrade program guarantees producers a minimum floor price when global commodity prices drop. It aims to ensure that producers can cover their average costs of sustainable production. And acts as a safety net for farmers when world markets fall below a sustainable level. For producers with Fairtrade certification, they can count on at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price per pound, slightly more if the product is also organic. When the market price is higher than the Fairtrade Minimum Price, the buyer has to pay the higher price. Producers can further negotiate higher prices based on quality and other attributes.

We pay farmers a substantial amount above both the C Price & the Fairtrade Minimum Price. This isn’t uncommon for Specialty Grade coffee which attracts a higher premium based on the cup score (quality of the green bean).

community initiatives

In addition to paying a fair price for green bean, we also contribute to the farms & their surrounding communities in other ways.

CriaCarmo Coffee Project®: In 2013, our friends at CarmoCoffees initiated this program with the vision of helping hundreds of underprivileged children from Carmo de Minas, in Brazil. The project provides social and athletic programs for at-risk and underprivileged youth in the community with the goal of helping these kids attend universities (through scholarship), finding internships, and being active participants in their local communities.

With a focus on sports learning and student achievement, the CriaCarmo Project® now reaches around 150 kids in the area. They’re given the opportunity to learn swimming, futsal, chess and English & in addition to the time spent in the program, the CriaCarmo team also have social workers who follow up with their families & schools.

If you’d like to contribute to this project personally, contact us for details of the PayPal link set up by CarmoCoffees. Or visit their website to learn more.

organics waste

Have you ever considered what happens to the spent coffee grounds (SCG) after your coffee is made? Most are thrown in the bin & end up in landfill. This is a major problem because of the amount of Methane used coffee emits when it’s left to decompose. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and is created when organic materials break down without the presence of oxygen in landfill. SCG are also an important resource, rich in nutrients and minerals, currently being wasted in landfill.

Coffee 4 Planet Ark: In 2016, Planet Ark released a feasibility study into the collection and recycling of spent coffee grounds (SCG). The report showed that 93% are sent to landfill with only 7% repurposed or recycled. Many different uses for SCG are being explored around the world, from odour-busting clothing to biodiesel. It’s important to repurpose SCG to make use of this fantastic resource and avoid the methane produced when sent to landfill. We’re excited to be involved in trialing their new program – Coffee 4 Planet Ark. The aim of the program is to collect SCG from cafes and corporate businesses, divert them from landfill, recycle them into compost and soil fertiliser & research other potential higher value end uses. The trial has commenced in Sydney & Melbourne, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on their progress.

packaging

Online Store: The cardboard boxes you receive via our online store are recyclable. As is the branded tissue paper inside; it’s eco-friendly, acid-free & FSC Certified (Forest Stewardship Council). The ink is soy-based, as opposed to traditional petroleum-based ink. The certification ensures the materials were sourced in an environmentally-friendly, socially responsible and economically viable manner.

Deliveries via our online store are also 100% carbon neutral through a delightful company called Sendle…you can read more about them here.

Takeaway Cups: In keeping with our brand ethos, we’re currently converting 100% of our takeaway cup/lid range across to a recyclable alternative in hopes of reducing the waste our industry contributes. For more information about our partnership with Detpak, their award-winning RecycleMe™ program, and how you can get involved, visit our blog.

Coffee Packaging: We’re working hard to source a sustainable alternative to our coffee bags in the near future. As much as we’d like to, this isn’t a change we’re able to make overnight. We’re very deep into the investigation process on sustainable/compostable/recyclable coffee packaging that will have an impact on our environmental footprint while still allowing our beans to stay fresh! We’ll be sure to keep you updated on our progress on this one though!