The labels used to describe how coffee is processed and grown have become mystified. A roaster could provide "Fair Trade" and "Organic" coffee without bettering the lives of their producers or delivering higher quality beans. We liken this the idea of "cage-free" eggs; while the chicken may not be surrounded by galvanized wire, are the lives of the chickens or the quality of the eggs improved much by the few loose guidelines necessary to become certified as "cage-free"? Not really.
We do not pursue the various labels in vogue right now because we want to go further than what is required. We have created our own terms so that you can understand everything about how your coffee has been sourced; we call these the Farm Source, the Origin Source, and the Import Source.
Farm Source :: We go to our farms and meet with our farmers, learning about their social and environmental practices. We are transparent with you, our customers, about the specifics of each lot that we purchase from and how much ends up in the pockets of our producers and their laborers.
Origin Source :: Some countries maintain complex coffee growing and trading strictures. In these countries it is not only difficult to find good coffee, but also difficult to help the farmers export their product. In these countries we work with local green coffee buyers who expertly maneuver through the unique bureaucratic and governmental requirements of their respective country. These key people keep us up to date with their country's trade regulations and farming and coffee processing practices. These individuals also serve as our local quality control.
Import Source:: A few of our coffees, like our Sumatran, are purchased from U.S. based importing companies. These are special coffees that contribute to the variety our customers have grown to love, but we can only access through intermediary coffee importers. Our importers have built and maintained transparent relationships with farms that are otherwise impossible to reach. We are very selective with which importers we use, making sure they adhere to the same standards as our Farm and Origin Sourced coffees.
At the core of all our sourcing, whether it is Farm, Origin, or Import, are strong, reliable relationships. We want coffees that we can depend on, and likewise, we want our farmers to be able to depend on us. These bonds form slowly, but they begin with farmers', exporters', and importers' transparency with us. We, in turn, are transparent with you, so that you can always trust our coffee to be sustainably and responsibly sourced.