Let’s Talk About The Cost of Coffee

Abstract’s philosophy is simple, ‘transparency in every part of the coffee supply chain, from farm to cup’.

But what does this mean and why do we feel the need to shout about transparency in the coffee supply chain?

Transparency means knowing how much everything in the coffee supply chain costs and ultimately how much the farmers who grow the coffee receive for their hard work. By only using trusted importers with transparent supply chains we can guarantee that every coffee we showcase has been bought at a good price. But what is a good price?

First we need to talk about how most coffee is traded. Most coffee is bought and sold as a commodity, which means it’s value is decided by the Coffee Price (C Price) on the stock exchange. The C Price changes constantly but for 2019 it averaged at $1.02 per lb. of coffee. This price does not take into account the cost for farmers to produce the coffee so can often result in farmers making a loss when it’s time to sell their harvest.

But what about Fairtrade? That’s good, right?

Fairtrade guarantees to pay $1.40 per lb. for coffee produced by it’s farmers. At first glance this seems much better than the $1.02 per lb. average of the C Price for 2019, and it is better. We just don’t think it’s enough.

Like the C-Price, the Fairtrade price does not factor in the cost for farmers to produce the coffee so it has no guarantee that the farmers will make a profit or even break even and that doesn’t sound like ‘Fair Trade’ to us. At some points, the C-Price may actually rise above the Fairtrade price for coffee resulting in farmers getting less than they could on the commodities market.

So what is the answer?

We think they only way to build a sustainable and meaningful supply chain is by paying a good amount of money for the coffee we buy. By using trusted importers with transparent supply chains we can make sure the farmers who grow the beans we buy not only cover costs but also make a profit. This can be re-invested in the farms and provide a better standard of living for farmers and their families.

We always list the price paid to producers on every coffee we sell as well as a comparison to the C-Price and Fairtrade price. This way you can be sure the coffee you buy from us has been bought at a good price that will have a positive impact on the lives of the growers and their families around the world.

If you would like to see the prices we have paid for our latest coffee on offer, check out our transparency report here.

All pictures by Falcon Coffee Importers