We believe in sharing as much as possible about the coffees we buy, including many details about where the money is going along the chain.
We paid JA Coffee, a Montreal based importer, 4,70 USD per pound of green coffee. Felix was kind enough to deliver the coffee himself with his car, free of charge (except for a cup of coffee) straight to us in Delson!
JA Coffee paid Kok Ki Chante, the exporter in Haiti, 3,55 USD per pound of green coffee FOB (freight on board).
The FOB price means that Kok Ki Chante (KKC) is responsible for the coffee until it’s in the cargo; the 3,55 USD covers the price of the coffee and all costs until the jute bags of green coffee are safely inside the boat, ready to be shipped to Canada.
The 1,15 USD/lb difference between what we pay JA Coffee and what they pay KKC covers JA’s margins, shipping customs to Canada, the unloading and delivery to their warehouse, etc. This price difference also covers random inspections which are frequent and can add anywhere from one to five cents a pound in costs.
Then, the cost of shipping is calculated per container, not per volume. Thus, the fuller the container, the cheaper it is per pound to ship. In this case, the container was at best two thirds full.
KKC paid the farmers between 2,60 and 3,50 USD per pound of green coffee. This difference in price varies from farmer to farmer depending on their volume, proximity to the mill and the variety of the coffee. The lot we have consists of four varieties which differ in cost of production, tree maintenance, fertilizers, cup quality, etc.
The average price paid to farmers in the APPCC Coop, a group of 200 producing families in Kolen, is 3,10 USD.
As the leading exporter of specialty Haitian coffee, Kok Ki Chante is doing a lot of good on the ground. It sources and supports farmers in all major producing regions of the country and personally sees that every lot they buy ensures a livable wage for producers and their families.
KKC also provides pre-harvest financing, a crucial step to prevent farmers from incurring substantial debts to pay workers and to buy what is necessary for their coffee production.
KKC also provides technical assistance, milling and processing facilities if needed, and helps farmers plant the best trees on their soil for the best quality coffee possible.
KKC’s experimental farm is used to produce coffee of course, but also to analyse costs of production and to teach new ways and agricultural techniques to farmers (read more here)
KKC does a lot for specialty coffee in general and for farmers. But how can it be doing all of this while buying coffee at an average price of 3,10$ and selling at 3,55$?
This is where Kok Ki Chante’s US-based sister company Singing Rooster comes in. Singing Rooster (SR), a non-profit social enterprise promoting Haitian coffee outside of Haiti pays KKC a subsidy through the sale of roasted coffee in the US. KKC then, is paid closer to 4,35 USD per pound of green coffee.
SR also guarantees KKC a certain volume of green export every harvest. This coffee will then be roasted in Wisconsin where as much as 66% of the sales end up in farmers pocket. SR sells cacao and Hatian art as well as coffee.
This is a great example of putting farmers first. Everybody is making a decent living but more importantly, the farmers are well paid and get a significant part of the proceeds go back to them.
We hope to make Haitian coffee a staple on our menu and by doing so, to develop meaningful projects there in the future. We are already discussing with JA Coffee for a potential collaboration where, under KKC guidance, we could contribute to the renewal of old coffee trees and better drying installations.
Very well written. It’s so interesting knowing those sorts of things when buying beans. Makes you really appreciate it so much more. Great work everyone. 👏
It would be cool to see you guys also offer other Haitian products as well.
Great work guys and girls!
Best wishes from Brazil!