There seems to be no limit to how much you can pay for a kilogram of freshly roasted coffee... $60, $100, $200 and beyond.
In fact, it was the astronomical price of coffee that first got me into roasting. I was paying a retailer $60 per kilo, knowing the whole time that the farmer only received about $1 for that kilo. It didn’t add up, and it didn’t sit well with me either.
As I ventured into the world of roasting, I soon learned that sadly, no matter what I or anyone else does, a coffee bean farmer gets paid a pittance of what the end user pays for their freshly roasted beans. The coffee beans are handled three or four times before they reach the final consumer, and every step of the way, someone is taking a cut.
The easiest way to avoid all this add on and give the farmer what they’re owed is to buy directly from the grower. Unfortunately, at Karon Farm, we are not a big enough operation for that. Instead, we make sure we only work with suppliers that share our philosophy on purchasing beans.
Langdon Coffee Merchants is one such supplier. Their ethos is to only source ethically farmed products, ensuring the farmer, their farm, and their community benefits from the coffee trade.
A prime example of this is Langdon’s work with a group called the Cedro Alto Collective – an organisation made up of many small-scale coffee farmers that have banded together to sell their beans.
Independently, these farms are too small to ever access roasters willing to pay fair prices. However, as a collective, they have been able to challenge the traditional supply chain, reorganising the coffee trade in a way that encourages progress for the community and quality coffee for the world.
Through the collective, farmers can be paid more than double what they are through the traditional supply chain (see table below).
(Table supplied by Langdon Coffee Merchants)
Furthermore, the Cedro Alto Collective invests in a variety of projects that ensure the long-term sustainability of the farms, such as:
- Restoration of shade trees, to improve growing and farming conditions
- Financial literacy and business education for the farmers, so they can better understand the economy in which they operate
- Better tools for better quality harvesting and a higher quality product
- Education and infrastructure improvements to enable zero waste farming practices
We started Karon Farm because we love quality coffee, and we wanted to share our passion, but living where we do, surrounded by farmers, we know firsthand the hard work that goes into any produce.
That’s why we go that extra step to ensure we’re doing our part to contribute to a fair and sustainable coffee industry.
You can learn all about the Cedro Alto Collective at Cedro Alto Coffee | A Collective of Smallholder Specialty Coffee Farmers in Colombia
Feel free to contact us to ask about our beans, where we source them and how you can learn more about coffee bean suppliers to Australia.