ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS FOR COFFEE SUSTAINABILITY IS THE LOW INCOMES EARNED BY COFFEE PRODUCERS.
The C-market is the market price for commodity coffee. In May 2019, this price was down to $0.867 per pound, the lowest since 2004. This price is less than the production cost of coffee, which is not sustainable for coffee producers, especially the smaller ones.
THE C-MARKET IS THE MARKET PRICE FOR COMMODITY COFFEE, BUT ALSO SETS THE BENCHMARK FOR SPECIALTY COFFEE, WHICH IS FLAWED.
While specialty coffee (i.e. high quality coffee like ours) prices are higher than commodity, they still indirectly use commodity prices as the benchmark since there isn’t any other benchmark.
This is flawed, since commodity prices are too low, too volatile, and not linked to quality.
WE NEED A NEW BENCHMARK FOR SPECIALTY COFFEE
This is why price transparency matters.
Driftaway, along with several other specialty coffee companies, is making a commitment to be completely transparent in our coffee sourcing. This is the Transparency Pledge.
THE TRANSPARENCY PLEDGE
The Transparency Pledge is a joint project made to establish a common code for transparency reporting in the coffee industry. We are committed to making the following available:
- We will create transparency data that is publicly available and easily accessible.
- State the producer/producer organization the coffee was purchased from
- State the Free On Board (FOB) price paid for the coffee
- Indicate the quality of the coffee, for instance by using the SCA score in order to indicate cup quality
- State the lot size (volume) of the coffee purchased
- State the length of the relationship between producer/producer organization and buyer
- State the percentage of transparent coffees in relation to the total volume of coffee (in lbs/tonnes) sold in the stated year.
FROM SEPTEMBER 2019, EVERY DRIFTAWAY COFFEE WILL SHOW THE PRICE WE PAID FOR IT.
In addition, it will also show the C-market price at that time of buying, and the Fair Trade price at the time of buying. While the C-market price isn’t the right benchmark, in the absence of a new benchmark, we are displaying it to provide a reference.