Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2019

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a key reason that Counter Culture Coffee wanted to contribute to the guide. Meredith Taylor, the company's sustainability manager, says the strength in numbers from so many data donors contributing to the guide provides valuable insight for the whole supply chain. "It gives farmers a point of reference to understand the value of their coffee, and it gives the companies buying that coffee an idea of how their own prices measure up," she says. "With this information, we can start to understand what changes need to be made in order to create a coffee value chain in which everyone is profi table." With the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide released into the world, it's now being used by a number of organizations. Among them is the Specialty Coffee Association, which launched the Coffee Price Crisis Response Initiative this past December to understand and address the price crisis and its effect on farmers. Kim Elena Ionescu, SCA's chief sustainability offi cer, says SCA will be sharing insights from the guide at upcoming SCA events and through publications, as well as making other efforts to amplify the guide. "We undertook the initiative with the recognition that we need alternative coffee-buying models, and this tool presents evidence that alternatives already exist!" Kim says. "It is tempting for buyers to think that we—I say 'we' in part because I was once a green buyer— are already doing everything we can and to lament the power of the volatile C market without acknowledging that we increase that power every time we use it to index our purchases." The team behind the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide is now looking toward the future and building upon the guide's pilot edition, fi rst with an update to the 2018 version of the guide (to be released in mid-2019) that will include additional data donors who have signed on in the fi rst half of the year. The group is continuing to look for new data donors for future versions of the guide, and Kim says SCA will also be supporting the TTC team to recruit contributors. Peter adds that ideally the team will grow the contributor base from its current number of 20+ to 80+ donors in the next three years. "We also want to make sure that we improve representation of coffees grown in Africa and Asia, for example, and sold in [countries such as] Asia and [Australia/New Zealand]," he says. "This is the best way to ensure that this pricing resource accrues the credibility that is required to change pricing dynamics in the market." In addition to adding new data donors, Chad says the group is approaching various funds and foundations in hopes they can help make the guide bigger and better. "One thing is clear to us: It is going to cost us time and fi nancial resources to evolve the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide into a tool that is broadly representative of the spe- cialty-coffee market, and therefore widely used as a basis for relevant price negotiations," Chad says. "We have goals to identify as much of this funding as possible for at least the next three years by the end of June this year." As the group builds toward growing and enhancing the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide, they are hoping to solidify a tool the spe- cialty-coffee realm can rely on to promote a more sustainable future for all stakeholders. "Data that documents price tiers and establishes parameters to guide decision-making can help make quality-driven pricing the standard in our segment of the coffee industry," says Shau- na Alexander, vice president of coffee and sustainability of Stumptown Coffee. "It will also demonstrate to the CFOs of the world that we're not outliers: Pricing that incentivizes and rewards quality should be our industry's norm." —Chris Ryan STUMPTOWN COFFEE PRESENTS 30 barista magazine

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