Over the past few months we have been busy behind the scenes getting our roastery ‘ShareTrade coffee’ ready.
It all began when we attended a focus group hosted by the Big Rock Coffee Company at Canopy Coffee where sustainability challenges within the industry were explored. There was a lot of enthusiastic input and a clear indication that although speciality coffee quality was important, in equal measure was actually knowing that having that daily flat white or V60 filter would help contribute to a fairer value chain.
It became obvious that this was more than just an early stage idea stage workshop, and that the ShareTrade concept had been brewing for some time!
So what is ShareTrade?
The ShareTrade sourcing model is a response to the on-going challenge of low prices facing many of the 25 million smallholder coffee farmers around the world. It goes deeper than providing just a ‘fair price’; a farmer should be given the opportunity to manage their farm as a proper business with access to professional advice to ensure that the farm is capable of becoming economically and environmentally sustainable, and not just a subsistence operation.
ShareTrade requires a long term, direct relationship with each farmer that is built on trust and the anticipation of a lot of hard work. There are four core principles of ShareTrade:
Farmers deserve a bigger share of the price paid for a cup of excellent coffee and this is why we pay ‘the right price’ to enable the other principles.
Our farmer partners, who work hard to produce high quality coffee, deserve an income that rewards that effort – and should be able to contribute towards social benefits.
Farms will be transformed. Our farmers have access to professional advice to ensure that the farm can become economically and environmentally sustainable. This means improving quality, yield, and environmental performance and may also require the rental or purchase of additional land.
Smallholders should be able to access affordable loans to invest in their farms, and be capable of repaying them.
(Source: Big Rock Coffee Company, 2018)
We have teamed up with the Big Rock Coffee Company to roast their ShareTrade coffees, meaning not only will we be directly supporting their ShareTrade vision but we will also have access to some outstanding coffees.
So when is it all happening?
We were excited to learn that to the first ShareTrade coffee will arrive mid-November from two Colombian farmers - Miller Marin and Jorge Taborda – and we will be launching an exclusive ShareTrade blend developed in partnership with top Guildford speciality coffee house Canopy Coffee. Keep your eyes peeled!
The ShareTrade concept truly aligns with the vision and values of Chimney Fire Coffee. We ideally wanted to take more action in this area earlier than now, but the trials and tribulations of a start-up business means you have to juggle priorities in order to generate long-term sustainable goals. Our aim is to be able to showcase the efforts of Miller and Jorge through meticulous roasting, and find customers for their delicious coffees through our Office Coffee Clubs and retail outlets.
If you are interested in trying some ShareTrade coffee in your office or would like to learn more, please get in touch with either ourselves or the Big Rock Coffee Company. Their new website will be available soon.
The first of two ShareTrade coffees comes from the high altitude farm of Miller Marin in Penol, in the region of Antioquia, Colombia (photo: Big Rock Coffee Company, 2018)