Coffee importers play a major role in the coffee supply and distribution chain. Most small and medium size roasting companies can’t afford to send coffee buyers all over the world to visit coffee farmers. Coffee buyers (green buyers) are often contracted by or employed by coffee importers to work with coffee farmers and processing stations. These buyers evaluate product at origin, initiate contracts and begin coordination of export from origin. It is easier for coffee farmers and cooperatives to work with large coffee importers that will purchase container loads of coffee than individual small roasters that may only want a few 70kg bags at a time from each of several farmers.
We rely on our coffee importers to compensate coffee farmers fairly for the specialty coffee that is grown in that region / origin. Once contracts are finalized, several purchasing methods and contract arrangements are used by roasteries to obtain that coffee. Generally, we wait until that coffee is in the coffee importer’s domestic warehouse prior to buying. Samples are requested, roasted, cupped and graded. If the coffee matches specifications, we contract for that coffee and it is shipped to us by regional freight carriers.
Typically a green coffee will stay fresh for approximately a year under idea and consistent storage conditions as we have in our shop. We purchase green coffee based on our sales volumes for 3 to 6 months to ensure our coffee is fresh and available for customers. We only roast based on need and immediate sales with a small par inventory for immediacy.