Will and Stephen are off to Brazil
We take a lot of pride in being a direct trade company, which is why we’re so excited to announce that next week our Head of Coffee, Will, and our Founder, Stephen, set off on Pact’s latest coffee-sourcing trip to Brazil.
The pair will be covering the Minas Gerais region (it’s near São Paulo) and visiting about ten farms in their whirlwind tour. They’ll be catching up with some farmers, tasting the latest harvests, as well as seeing how they process, store and prepare the coffee.
The people behind the beans
One of the stops in Brazil will be at Marcus Carvalho’s Sitio Chapada. You might remember that we sold it earlier in the year? And, just between us, there’s another batch coming up in the next week or so!
Developing these direct trade relationships with fantastic farmers, like Marcus, and paying them for the quality of their product is the best part of our job. When Pact started in 2012 we were too small to direct trade, but we are now reaching a size where we can buy enough green coffee to justify managing the whole supply chain from harvest to home.
This makes the journey from bean to cup more transparent and we can make sure we know all our farmers are being paid fairly – rather than relying on middlemen who take cuts along the way.
Direct trade is a complex issue (due to the sheer scale of the coffee industry worldwide) and one we addressed in our blog post last year. Basically, it explained why we don’t use the Fairtrade auditing system. Instead we go for the best quality, committing to pay at least 25% more than the Fairtrade price every time (last year we averaged 51% more). We also work together with farmers to help them get more of their crop up to this high standard that tastes so good.
This is where you come into it…
We thought you might have some questions about direct trade and our farmers. So, in order to answer them as best we can, we thought we’d give you the opportunity to speak with our farmers directly.
Use the comments section below to ask our farmers anything you’d like (like, how their coffee is grown, how they make a living from their crop, or even, most importantly, what football team they follow). We’ll be posting stories from their visit and answers to your questions over the next couple of weeks!