Going to origin is about access to unique - exclusive coffee.
There are easier ways to buy coffee than to make a trip to origin to source green beans. The reason for travel comes down to finding great coffee.
In the 2012 Roasters Magazine industry survey the responses to the question "How often do you travel to origin?" showed that 61% of the survey participants NEVER do it. Here are some reasons why you should include a trip to origin in your schedule asap:
1. Coffee is a deep - complex product and going to origin is the ultimate learning-experience.
The complexity of coffee starts at the place where it was grown. One can read a million articles on coffee, get a barista or roaster certification, but you will never know coffee until you visit a coffee-growing country during harvest, meet the people growing the coffee, meet the people working in the mill, eat the food that they eat, drink what they drink, listen to the music they listen to, and try to experience what they experience as they grow, harvest, process, and ship coffee.
2. Access to Exclusive Coffee.
The coffee business is a competitive one. Everyone is trying to get the best coffee, roast it and brew it better than the next guy. A roaster that sources her own coffee has competitive advantage on this goal.
3. Building and Strengthening Relationships.
Face to face meeting with the farmers and partners at origin are critical, meeting personally your supplier will help to build a trust in both sides. Also will give you the a more clear picture of the farmer strengths and struggles a critical starting point to build meaningful collaboration and give feedback.
Traveling to origin is crucial if you are interested in developing links in a chain that can help your business sustain and grow in the years to come.
4. Direct sourcing is not complete unless you have visited the farm at least once.
Traveling to the origin is right in the core of Direct Trade definition: “The roaster has a personal relationship with the producer, she has transparency into the financial transaction, have visited the farm, and the coffee quality meets exceptionally high standards.”
If you are serious about partnering with growers and develop direct source relationships it’s critical to know the details at the logistic chain at origin ranging from milling to warehousing to shipping so that if a problem happens, you can locate the cause and help finding a solution.
When you personally meet the grower and get to know their family and farm there is no overselling possible. You get to see the degree of which people care about fair trade practices, environmentally friendly processes and the efforts they do every day to produce their beans.
And it also gives you the possibility to back the efforts you make in those areas with vivid proof, traceability and transparency to share them with your customers.
6. Provide more information to your customers. Marketing and social media material.
Share your stories, people appreciate being given a chance to make thoughtful choices.
It’s empowering for both coffee drinkers and producers to be able to have an idea of one another to “see,” and be more connected to the other end.
The exclusivity and promotion of direct sourcing and single origin coffees can help set you apart from your competitors. And your photos on the origin experience create great marketing material for websites, and social media.
Invitation: Clearpath Coffee has over 30 years of experience helping roasters and green coffee buyers making their sourcing visits to Colombia safe, productive and enjoyable. Contact Vicente Mejia at email@example.com to learn more about how we can help you in your sourcing trips to Colombia.