Our focus at Horsham Coffee Roaster has always been long term sustainability and building relationships with the coffee producers that we work with. Our report was upated on the 1st of January, 2023 (can be viewed at the bottom of this page) and about 50% of our total roasting volume is now made up of coffees with full traceability and financal transparency.
Honey processed coffee drying on raised beds at La Isla, Costa Rica
Over the last seven years Horsham Coffee Roaster has worked to develop long term relationships with producers in Rwanda. In 2016 we started buying directly from Kenya and in 2019 we added Costa Rica to the list. We've decide that we'd like to share a bit more of our story and the work we've put in to ensure that the farmers we work with are paid a fair and sustainable price.
Sample roasting at Dormans in Kenya
We first started working with producers directly in Rwanda in 2015. We were introduced to these producers by Jean Bosco Seminega, country manager for Dormans in Rwanda. A passionate coffee expert who has worked in the industry and is now a good friend of ours. We work directly with Bwishaza co-operative and Liza washing station. Bwishaza is a co-op group run by farmers and the profits are invested back into the business and the local community. Liza washing station is owned and operated by Jean Paul, a coffee farmer, who processes both his own coffee and the harvest from about 500 local farmers.
Jean Paul far left, his brother and washing station manager far right
In 2016 we visited Kenya for the first time and were introduced to Kianderi washing station. They are a small operation of 500 farmers and this washing station is part of the larger Inoi co-operative. We were very impressed with the quality they were producing and have been buying their coffee every year since.
Kianderi grading channels
During the visit we were also introduced to Kangunu co-operative. They are much larger than Kianderi with around 1700 farming members and are both UTZ and Rainforest Alliance certified. They too produce some outstanding coffees and we managed to purchase from them for the first time in 2019.
Members of Kangunu co-operative, SL28 trees
In 2019 we added Costa Rica to our direct relationship list of coffees. We've been buying coffee from Costa Rica directly with the help of Selva Coffee
. In 2020 we were fortunate to have been able to visit several producers that we already work with and some new ones. These are all small family owned operations producing incredible coffees using a wide range of processing methods.
The Mora family at their farm in Tarrazu
In 2020 we added Brazil to our list of transparent coffee purchases with them help of Academia do Cafe in Brazil. We first me Bruno Souza when he visited our roastery last in 2019. He's a coffee farmer, exporter, Q grader and one of the most respected coffee professionals in Brazil. He introduced us to his friend Bruno Franco, a 5th generation coffee producer focusing on producing great quality coffee on his 100 hectare farm. This is fairly small by Brazilian standards. In 2019 we purchased 12000kg and this rose to a full container of of 17620kg in 2020 and 2021.
Farming challenges and the C Market
Coffee producers around the world are significantly affected by climate change and fluctuations in the C Market price. This price is affected by supply and demand, a great harvest in Vietnam and Brazil could flood the market. This means the C price drops and coffee farmers in Africa could suffer as a results. In 2018 the C price maximum was $1.24/lb. This is well below the cost of production and pushes coffee farmers into a downward cycle of poverty. Many give up and replace coffee with other crops or have been forced to abandon their farms. In late 2021 the C price rose peaking at $2.40/lb. While this might be good news if the producer receives the majority of this extra money but that often isn't the case. This is why we prefer to focus on fixed prices that are based on cost or production with stable prices year on year.
FOB and the price we pay
FOB is an industry term that means 'Free on board'. This is the price paid by us to the exporter in the origin country to cover costs of coffee, milling, grading, transportation, packing and loading into a container at the port ready for shipping to the UK. Typically a producer will receive about 70% of the FOB price with the remaining amount allocated to essential preparation costs in order to get the coffee ready to ship. We list the farm gate price for some of our coffees when the data is available. We are working on gathering acurate data for all of our coffees.
The table below lists our direct trade lots with full pricing transparency. Last updated August 2023.
The 'Horsham FOB Price' is the price we paid for the coffee but does not include the cost of transportation to the UK, financing and storage. The 'World Market Price' is the C market price during the month that we purchased the coffee.
Our fully transparent coffee makes up about 50% of our total yearly production volume. The remaining coffees we purchase through well respected importers who maintain direct links with exporters and producers in origins that we haven't yet visited.
A note about Brazil pricing
You might notice that the price we pay for our coffee from Fazenda Inhame is significantly lower than the other coffees. The global coffee market is complex and the cost of production needs to be considered. In some countries the costs of production are fairly high, Costa Rica is a good example. The country is stable, minimum wages are in place, land is expensive and coffee is grown on steep mountains requiring only hand harvesting. These all contribute to a high cost base. Brazil is very different, farms tend to be large, terrain is much easier to work on and producers can use a range of mechanical equipment to assist with harvesting and processing on much larger scales. This brings the cost of production down significantly and that combined with much larger volume sales means the operation is efficient making coffees from Brazil more affordable but still profitable for producers. The price we pay for our coffee from Brazil is set by the producers.