The skills, passions, love, farm inputs and many other non-quantifiable elements contribute to determine the value of our coffee. How can all this be given a monetory value? The answer is that it cannot be given an absolute monetory value.
As farmers, our main concern is to ensure that those other professionals with whom we collaborate, are willing to contribute their skills and passions and all the intangibles that they control, so that at the end of the coffee journey from our farms to the cup, we have all taken care of the fundamentals necessary to preserve the quality of our coffee.
When our coffee goes through this VALUE chain of professionals and adequately compensates each contributor, it would have achieved some basic monetory value, and no doubt would have found the consumers who value the process enough to pay what the professionals are asking.
What is our value chain again:
FARMER => MILLER => ROASTER => BREWER
Just as we are individually unique and every single moment of our existence is unique, so too are our coffee trees and our approach to how we tend to them as farmers and other value chain professionals.
We encourage and support all participating professionals from farm to coffee bar to apply their skills and unique talents to our coffee, so that what we offer the consumer is an experience that is unique and fulfilling each and every time they consume our coffee!
Coffee farming is very hard work, so what is so different about our approach that draws small scale farmers to our program?
The short answer is EMPOWERMENT – when the process upholds the dignity of the farmers; when farmers can actually determine their own destiny; when our youth can finally see good options for their future.
Our farmers find empowerment in the self-governing groups we organize – Circle of Excellence (CoE) groups. These are groupings of a small number of farmers with neighboring farms who follow common guidelines and “peer review” themselves as they combine their production each season. The productions of CoE groups are taken to market as micro lots or combined to obtain achieve desired volumes. In either case, the CoE farmers make the decision and are responsible for the quality of coffee getting to market.