Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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28 barista magazine F O A M : N E W S + T R E N D S SPECIALTY-COFFEE ORGANIZATIONS COLLABORATE TO BUILD NEW TRANSACTION GUIDE PEOPLE ACROSS THE specialty-cof- fee supply chain have long known that the international commercial coffee price—known as the C-market price—has been below the cost of production for many farmers, raising questions about farmers' long-term eco- nomic sustainability. The price conversation was boosted to the forefront of the industry in August 2018 when the C-mar- ket price fell below $1 per pound for the fi rst time in 12 years. In the months since, the industry has seen a renewed focus around generating possi- ble solutions and useful tools to address the coffee price crisis. At the end of 2018, one such tool arrived with the launch of the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide, an index of free-on-board (FOB) specialty-coffee prices from the last two harvest seasons divided into categories such as producing country, lot size, and quality. The guide, which is available in both English and Spanish, uses fi gures supplied by "data donors"—specialty-coffee exporters, importers, and roasters interested in a price-guidance alternative to the C mar- ket. "As 'C' prices have settled back into the crisis levels of the early 2000s, we cannot rely on commodity pricing to give a fair assess- ment of value or cost of production—outside of a select few high-volume coffee-producing countries," says Jennifer Roberts, chief operating offi cer of Atlas Coffee, a data donor for the project. The guide's main purpose is to provide an alternative baseline price to the C price that better refl ects the specialty-coffee market, which roasters and producers can consult when building contracts. "The guide is about helping sellers and buyers (and ultimately customers) change the way that the market thinks about how green coffee should be valued and priced," says professor Peter W. Roberts, who led the creation of the guide alongside Chad Trewick, founder of coffee consultancy Reciprocafé. Peter is the director of Transparent Trade Coffee (TTC), an organization funded by the Goizueta Business School at Emory Universi- ty in Atlanta. TTC was established to support data-backed conversations around coffee pricing, and since 2015, has been working with specialty-coffee roasters to compile FOB pric- ing information (the price of the coffee ready for export). Peter says that as more roasters provided pricing information, the TTC team started to see value in presenting the average prices of their purchases. "The goal is to allow different people to see real [positive] numbers in the belief that this will start changing how negotiations start and fi nish," Peter says. Chad learned of TTC's work two years ago, and approached Peter about conducting a pilot project in which they would add more data donors and turn the expanded resource into a price guide for the industry. In the ensuing months, Chad contacted a broad assortment of specialty-coffee roasters and importers he knew were largely interested in an alternative price mechanism about contributing their data. "It's not a matter of having to convince any- one that we need industry support to develop an alternative tool," Chad says. "Everyone we have talked to knows that and, frankly, feels the pressures that lead to them looking for a tool like we are creating that speaks more to our segment of the coffee industry than the commodities market does." Among the data donors for the inaugural Specialty Coffee Transaction were Counter Culture Coffee, Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, and Stumptown Coffee; importer Caravela Coffee chose to contribute because the guide's efforts jibed with the company's focus on transparency. "We see the guide as a great way to be part of a collaborative and honest effort to contribute to greater transparency in the specialty-coffee industry," says Alejandro Cadena, CEO and cofounder of Caravela. The benefi t of this transparency was also PHOTO COURTESY OF SUSTAINABLE HARVEST COFFEE IMPORTERS Puremade Syrups & Sauces have nothing artificial so you can mix up something amazing. Make it with Puremade INGREDIENTS INGREDIENTS ¾ oz. Puremade Signature Vanilla Syrup 2 tsp. matcha green tea powder 8 oz. milk or alternative milk (almond or oat milk) Ice Iced Vanilla Matcha Latte Steam the syrup, matcha powder and milk together. Chill then serve over ice. For more visit torani.com/puremade

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