Buy coffee directly from farmers?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by johnee, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. johnee macrumors 6502a


    Hi all,

    I have been researching the coffee market, and in the past year have been disgusted with how coffee is bought from the farmer at a ridiculously low price per pound and sold at starbucks for $2 a cup.

    Because of food import laws, you can't buy green coffee beans from farmers. However I have found this website :

    which allows you to buy roasted coffee from a Costa Rican co-op, of which $3.77 per pound goes to the farmer (compared to $0.55 for normally traded coffee and $1.26 per pound for fairtrade). Currently, I think their website needs to be updated because I am getting a PHP error when I try to go to their Order page. I am going to call tomorrow and ask them to fix it, but I will also order some coffee :)

    Has anyone else found a way to buy coffee direct from the farmer?

  2. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    #2 general you want to brew it soon as you can after you roast it. So importing it after it is roasted has some drawbacks. Just stop throwing your money at Starbucks and find a local shop that actually roasts the coffee in the store...their prices should be close to Starbucks but the quality will be better (assuming that they know what they are doing).
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
  4. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    I know it's not as ideal as pulling up alongside a farm and buying the beans, but check out some local coffee shops, you might be pleasantly surprised by their Fair Trade offerings.

    I know that Peet's has some fairly well-respected beans from smaller farms. Here's a link to the particular coffee.
  5. TheAnswer macrumors 68030


    Jan 25, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    You might check out these locals from your area. Don't know anything about them myself, but they have some Fair-Trade coffees and you'd at least be supporting a local business instead of the Big Green Monster.
  6. johnee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Yeah, I read how Green Mountain Coffee has made some arrangement/agreements with Ethiopian farmers. I like that very much. Thanks for the info on the flavor of roasted coffee, I'll research that. I think I'm just going to order some from the link i posted earlier and see how it tastes.

    I'll let you know!
  7. mantic macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2007
    We buy Kona from Hawaii and put it in a deep freezer to help keep it fresh. Only grinding what we use a day or two at a time.
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    You know, Fair Trade isn't really a bad way to go. You're not paying a coffee co-op directly, and you say the farmers get paid more through this co-op, but Fair Trade is a good alternative to the....erm.....alternatives.
  9. johnee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    I received an email from Community Agroecology Network. You can check them out at

    They allow you to purchase roasted coffee DIRECTLY from the farmers' co-op, no middlemen.

    Here is a diagram showing how they work :


    Below is the email I received:

    I have a pdf of the order form, but it's 895Kb, and I can't upload it. If you contact Mandi Odom (above), she can email you a copy or I can send one to you if you PM me.
  10. johnee thread starter macrumors 6502a


    I know, and you are correct. What I'm trying to do is show people there is a three tier system. the best being fair-trade direct model. The second best being normal fair trade, and lastly the traditional model where the farmer gets nearly nothing.

    What I'm going to do is buy the fair-trade direct coffee (from CAN) for home, and when I'm out, I'll buy traditional fair-trade coffee.

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