How We Source Our Coffee
Traceability and sustainability in coffee has always been very important to us at Grouch and Co and for that reason we’ve always maintained direct trade relationships with farms, buying high grade green beans at well above commodity prices.
Fair Trade vs. Direct Trade
Direct traded coffee differs from fair-trade in a few notable ways. Fair trade coffee is a way for cooperatives to band together and certify their coffee to give the stability in coffee pricing irregardless of the rise and fall of the commodity market price. It is a system that is in place to ensure that the big coffee buyers in the market are, at the very least, paying a livable wage to the coffee producers and farmers. This system is great for larger coffee buyers and chain stores that will, if allowed to run unchecked, will push the market price of coffee as low as possible for their own short term gain.
Quality over Quantity
We don’t believe that paying or doing the bare minimum for coffee is enough! The fairtrade system works on awarding a flat rate for all coffee produced irregardless of quality, and the costs involved to become a certified farm are often prohibitive to smaller farms and micro lots. We want to foster relationships directly with coffee farmers to financially incentivise them to invest in the extra labour and input costs required to grow a better crop and to make it sustainable enough that they can afford to do so year after year.
Investing in the farms
Investing in coffee farming in this way and using distributors that work directly with coffee producers allows for traceability in coffee. This traceability is important as it allows for the development and improvement of working and living conditions of the farmers and gives them access to technologies that will allow them to continue to produce exceptionally high quality coffee, growing and expanding their farming practice. All the coffee we source for our roaster is completely traceable back to the farm it is grown on so we can ensure producers are getting a fair price for their coffee and are working in sustainable conditions so they can continue to grow as a producer and continue to create outstanding coffee.
There is a story behind your cup
It’s for these reasons that we want you to invest in the story behind your cup of coffee. If you come to our cafe for an espresso or are buying some single origin beans online we always strive to supply you with information about the farm and the producers that make your coffee so special. By doing this we hope that you can see the difference that investing in coffee makes to the quality of your cup, and allow you to appreciate subtle flavour differences and nuance between different coffee producers and processing methods.