Coffee farmers have it pretty tough these days. As the second most valuable LEGALLY traded commodity in the world, its price is often determined on trading markets and exchanges. Market price fluctuations alone often determine a farmers financial success or failure. Imagine, a coffee farmer has perfect soil; perfect growing conditions (weather / rainfall); and all the required labor at fair wage rates to harvest a crop. Somewhere else in the world coffee grew in excess and now coffee prices are depressed. Now the farmer that had a great year can’t break even on his / her crop.
Farmers face this problem each year. Typically it takes 4 to 5 years for a coffee plant to produce fruit. That growth curve makes it difficult for coffee farmers to plan crops for good and bad year price fluctuations. Part of the solution to this challenge has included providing incentives to coffee farmers to grow specialty coffee. As a higher grade of coffee, farmers are paid the base price (the “C” price) for commodity coffee, plus a differential for producing a higher quality product.
Spiral Horn Coffee works with importers that have buyers in coffee growing regions throughout the world. Importers we work with support these farmers by purchasing BOTH kinds of crops. There is a market for all coffee grown, and by purchasing all of the farmer’s crop – including the commodity coffee – our coffee farmers have a better chance of sustaining operations.
We appreciate all of the effort these hard working families exert to produce some of the finest coffees in the world. Our importers are ethical businesses and pair fair prices for the coffee our farmers grow. We will talk more about some of the government programs, Fair Trade, Alliances, etc in later postings. For now, rest assured that the cup you are enjoying from Spiral Horn Coffee was grown by some of the best farmers in coffee growing regions throughout the world and brought to us through ethical importers!