Coffee Story’s 10% pledge

Ethical Coffee Roasters

We are proud to be ethical coffee roasters, committing to giving back 10% of all profits made on retail coffee sales to farmers.

We work to ensure these funds are used by coffee farmers, changing lives for the better. Delicious coffee is – of course – a must, but when it is ethically packaged and responsibly sourced, we believe that makes it taste even better.

Wherever possible, we strive to return this portion of the profits to the farmers and cooperatives we work with directly, meaning the people we buy from will be the ones to benefit from your purchases.

Sometimes, though, we cannot be absolutely sure this money will get to where it’s supposed to. When this is the case, we donate this money to our chosen coffee charity, Food 4 Farmers, instead.

Food 4 Farmers works in coffee farming communities to tackle food insecurity, ensuring that no farmer has to chose between food on the table or tending to their crop. You can read more about Food 4 Farmers and their incredible work here.

How our 10% pledge works:

Ethical Coffee Direct from Origin

Every specialty coffee roaster dreams of buying directly from a coffee farmer, at origin. Through a trusted farmer-roaster direct online platform, we can connect with farmers from across the world and try samples of their latest crops, making purchasing decisions based on these. The great thing about our chosen platform is that we are able to buy small quantities of high-grade coffees, and simply pay the farmer the asking price they themselves have set (plus the cost of transporting, freight, logistics, customs and the platform’s fee, of course!).

In a market where farmers are often forced to sell their crop at breakeven or worse, this approach is revolutionising farmer’s lives and allows them to set and receive fair prices for their crop. Buying coffee this way makes it far easier to return a portion of the profits, as we get to deal with the farmer or their co-operative directly. As ethical coffee roasters, we are enormously excited to be able to work directly with farmers directly this way.

Returning the profits:

To give 10% back, we simply keep a tally of the total retail coffee sales for each product variety, before deducting our costs and working out 10% of the net profits. Once these totals have reached a point where they are significant enough to make it worthwhile to the farmer to recieve this money, we send this amount minus charges to our contact point in the farm or cooperative. This usually happens every 3 months.

We make the transfer back to the farm/co-op this way to minimise the amount of fees that have to be paid on international transactions, thereby ensuring the farmer receives as much as possible.

As with all business, however, there are of course other factors to consider for the farmers when selling their crop this way. While they make substantially more money per kg through a farmer-to-roaster platform, they will not necessarily be able to sell their entire crop each year. Although the reward is significantly higher, so is the risk. For this reason, as well as to ensure a more consistent offering to our customers, we do not exclusively buy our coffee this way.

Ethical Coffee via an Agent:

When retail sales are made on beans and we cannot be sure the farmer or cooperative would directly benefit from our 10% (such as when we buy the beans from a broker), we keep a separate record. Every month this total is tallied, and 10% of the net profits are calculated.

As a Food 4 Farmers Sustaining Partner, Coffee Story has a base commitment of $25 USD each month to ensure ongoing support to coffee farming families.

Each month, we then minus the $25 USD base commitment from our net profits (going by the visa rate of the day) and donate the difference. In any given month, if this 10% equals less than the $25 USD base commitment for Food 4 Farmers, we simply don’t donate anything extra. When using a broker, we are equally selective, and only work with partners that pays over the odds for the beans at origin, builidng long term relationships with the farmers. This means quality is always increasing, and the farmers are able to enjoy more economic certainty knowing our broker will buy a substantial volume of their crop each given year.