You may know the name of the person who owns the estate from which your favourite Colombian coffee comes from. You may know which machinery they’ve been able to buy since they produce specialty grade coffee, and how much water they are saving thanks to it. You may have even seen a picture of the farmers posing their kids.
But what do you know about the person that roasts your coffee and the one who sets your table? What do you know about the milk you drink your coffee with, and where it travels from? What do you know about your local shop food waste management?
During the last years, alongside part of the fashion industry, the food and drink sector has increased the transparency practices so customers have clear and detailed information about what they are wearing or eating, where it comes from and what are conditions of workers in the origin countries. In the coffee world, this translated into a boom of importers, roasters and shop owners talking about “traceability” and “premium price transparency”. It’s common practice now that with every espresso or filter cup, you receive a paper card detailing the variety of coffee, quality grade, country, region, altitude, farm and farmers’ name.
We’ve been part of this industry shift towards sourcing coffees that have stories of positive social and environmental impact in the regions they come from. We share each of them through our online coffee catalogue, postcards and face to face conversations with curious customers.
But after all these years running a business, we’ve seen that transparency, traceability and fair trade at origin are not enough to make a business good. There is so much more to this, starting by the very own staff team and neighbourhood around us. Are we paying our workers enough? How much plastic waste are we generating that could be avoided with an alternative? What are we doing to make this city a better place to live and hang out in?
We believe that a better business is the one that considers every aspect of their operations and at any step of the supply chain. We are now doing some good things, but there is a lot of room for improvement so we can confidently say that we are causing no harm to the planet and even leaving all places better than we found them. Through this journal, we want to share insights about where Sample Coffee is at, where do we want to be and what are we doing to get there.
Because there is an entire world behind a coffee cup.
Love from the team at Sample