by Mike Perry
My final day in Colombia started early Saturday as Leonardo picked up Chuck, Jeff and myself to begin cupping for ‘Roasters United’. This idea started as an idea to find the Best Coffee and reward those farmers who work so hard to create it. Our plan was to host a micro lot cupping competition and pay farmers based on cupping scores. This incentive based competition also rewards the top 3 winners with millions of pesos in farm improvement support.
In all we cupped 6 tables with over 40 coffees. 13 of those we cupped were very good and advanced to the next round we will hold in Huila early in January. At that time we will not only cup many more coffees but also have a finals table and winners, celebrating the harvest and great coffee.
Specific to ‘Roasters United’, we have established a mission statement and core values to build from.
Roaster's United is a collaboration driven by the basic principle of sustainability. It is not the mission of one person or even one company. Rather it is a demonstration that the efforts of many are greater than that of one. With the competitive nature of business set aside, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Klatch Coffee, and Portola Coffee Lab have joined forces to effect change in coffee growing countries. Quality drives price and improvements rely on both motivation and financial support. Roaster's United is that vehicle for change.
Establish sustainable long-term partnerships with coffee farms by instituting incentive-based programs that will increase coffee quality and improve the economic conditions of the farmers.
- -Seeking relationships with specialty coffee farmers who are enthusiastic about improvement and experimentation.
- -Establishing incentive-based, cash reward system that will improve a farm's profitability thus providing more opportunity/potential for farm infrastructure investment.
- -Establishing achievable goals customized to the farmer and upholding our obligations once they are met.
- -Staying up-to-date on best practices in the industry so as to offer ways in which quality can be improved.
- -Supporting the farmers' efforts while mitigating the risks associated with change.
- -Providing opportunity for connecting the U.S. consumer market to the farmers through existing and newly created marketing channels
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TAGS: The 2013 Colombia Sourcing Trip (Part 3)