Raw Materials

Most producers around the world earn low, volatile prices for their coffee.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the chain, it is the greatest time to be involved in the coffee business. This paradox represents a huge opportunity to change the world.

The current status-quo coffee market touches the lives of many individuals, but it does not yet achieve what is possible.

Often the price farmers receive is lower than their cost of production. This situation leads to cycles of debt and disadvantage that compounds over generations.

The choices of the specialty coffee industry have an outsized ability to influence positive outcomes for producers and the wider environment.

The value of the specialty coffee market continues to accelerate with a projected compound annual growth rate of 11-12% across the next 5 years. Total market value was estimated to be 35 billion USD in 2018 and is expected to grow to over 80 billion USD by 2025.

This is an exciting opportunity for development through trade.

This is one of the few crises in the world for which the solution is direct and self-sustaining: with the appropriate investments and continued effort, the growing demand for high-quality coffee can be fulfilled by historically marginalised groups to great long-term effect.

Where and how we work is guided by where we can have the most impact.

This is both directly through the work we do and through partnerships. In order to be most effective, we have three main considerations when choosing where & what we do:

What is the importance and magnitude of the issues faced by those who we would work with?

We will only work in areas where the need is highest. Secondly, neglectedness. Are there others working in these areas or is there a gap in services that we can uniquely fit? Finally, what is our capability to address these issues?

To change the world, we need a powerful strategy. This requires that we make tough choices not just about what we will do but also what we will not do.

We don’t search for the best coffee. We search for the right communities and work with them to build systems to produce high-quality coffee and connect to a stable marketplace. When the solution is well designed and community-led, results can be achieved very quickly. For example in Timor-Leste after just one year we produced a coffee that set the national record for quality, then exported over 90% of our production at prices 2-3X the national average.