Here’s a condensed, or espresso-length version of the ‘how, who, when and where’ Single O sources its specialty coffee. The ‘why’ part is quite straight forward; We don’t grow coffee ourselves, so are in the hands of coffee producers. Without them, we are just the hot air of our roaster!
DIRECT RELATIONSHIP SOURCING & LIKE-MINDED GO-BETWEENS
Single O has been sourcing directly for most of its coffees, travelling to origin for over a decade. This has been fundamental to our goals around quality discovery and assurance. Being there allows us to eagle eye for ripe coffee selection, clean washing stations, careful drying, sorting and storage. It also lets us see first-hand the working conditions, and key environmental dealmakers like sound water management, and best waste management practices.
You can’t get everywhere, though, and we’re glad to have seen the rise of progressive and entrepreneurial exporters, as well as great green bean import businesses. This is providing more producers with access to the specialty market, as well as giving us more choices to supplement our direct sourcing program.
SUPPORTING PRODUCERS’ WHO MAKE SPECIALTY COFFEE
The producers we work with have made the decision to grow and process the highest quality product. This ‘specialty grade’ coffee may be all that they grow or might be the cream of the crop from their farm where they also produce other grades.
The types of farms we’re talking about can vary greatly, often typical of country and region, but as is the case with coffee, there are always exceptions to the rules. Loosely speaking, we buy from Estates, Individual Farms, Co-operatives and Mill or Washing Station entities.
Quality can come from just a couple of hectares and as many sets of hands on a family-run farm in Central America. Or it can come from a cast of thousands from a co-op in East Africa. We strive to share information about the size and nature of the producer entity to help paint a picture of who is responsible for your cup. While it’s an increasingly small world, the realities of producing coffee can still seem far, far away.
SEARCHING FOR STELLAR PARTNERS & HONOURING RELATIONSHIPS
We seek out producers who uphold excellent standards, wages, environmental practices, and investments in training and long-term sustainability. We look for businesses who are doing an outstanding job at delivering high worth coffee, at good value, and are great at what they do, from growing, and mill managing, through to being solid and reliable traders.
We look to support producers who bring job opportunities to more regions by working with organisations on the ground who provide access to growers in more remote areas.
True to our mission to Nudge Coffee Forward, we seek out initiatives that provide improved approaches for coffee producers and work in harmony with the natural environment.
PAYING WHAT A COFFEE’S WORTH
As we’ve done since inception, we continue to reward producers who have succeeded in value creation, paying higher prices for higher quality coffees. On average, the coffee we purchase is 2.28 times above the Commodity Price.
SUPPORTING WORLD COFFEE RESEARCH
Single O was the first supporter of World Coffee Research in Australia and we continue to be a key anchor partner in the Asia-Pacific. The development, documentation and distribution of climate-resilient varieties is paramount to a sustainable future for specialty coffee and its growers. We’re massive fans of WCR’s work in this field.
Cookie heads up! If we could we'd call 'em biccies & we'd be dunking 'em in coffee, but sadly these bad boys are virtual & non-edible.