Here at Ligature Coffee, we take pride in paying fair prices for our coffee and sourcing equitably.
Key things that I (oh hi, this is Chris typing, by the way) look for when I search for sourcing partners and new coffees:
Traceability - how far back can I trace the coffee to its origin. Only as far back as mill? Auction lot? Farmer? etc.
Pricing - Does the price I am paying proportionately reflect what the farmer is getting paid. There a lot of things tacked on by whoever is sourcing to the final price roasters pay for coffee. And that is usually okay - we are all trying to get bills paid - but is the farmer being allowed adequate profit margins?
Practices by the company sourcing/producers - What are their best practices on the farm or when buying? Sustainable agronomy/agricultural practices, price floors, micro-financing, etc.
How much information is everyone in the supply chain willing to provide about this final product we are all taking part in?
It has been exciting to over the years work with both small and large producers and importers. I have been slowly but surely piecing together a wonderful group of contacts and friends all over the world that help source and create amazing, consistent, and high quality coffee. All the while, doing it with a wholistic view of the supply chain with both producers and consumers in mind.
Our Sourcing partners right now:
La Real Expedecion Botanica - (Bulk all of our Colombian coffee)
Sun Dog Trading Co/Baho Coffee - (Rwanda)
Shared Source - (Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia)
Ally Coffee - (Brazil, El Salvador)
Yellow Rooster Coffee (Colombia, Peru, Mexico)
A Glimpse Of Some Of Our Recent Coffees:
Todos Santos - Purchased through Shared Source
This is a "community lot" of sorts. It is traceable to 3 producers: Vicente Ramirez, Teodoro Calmo, Alfredo Martinez, who are all a part of the ASODIETT Cooperative. We purchased it for $3.90 a pound green and the producers were paid from 1100-1350 Quetzales per 100 pounds of parchment. Cost of production in Guatemala at time of harvest is around 700-800 Quetzales per 100 pounds of parchment.
Erwin Argueta - Purchased through Shared Source
Erwin's coffee was purchased on our end for $4.45 a pound green. He was paid an average of 1375 per 100 pounds of parchment. Local market at the time was an average 900-1000 quetzales per 100 pounds of parchment. And the cost of production average in Guatemala was around 700-800. However, due to Erwin's proximity to Mexico and lack of available picking labor, I would guess that his labor costs made his cost of production higher than average.
Crucero - Purchased through La Real Expedcion Botanica.
So this coffee is being produced by Ana Mustafa. This is actually an ongoing series of sorts from Ana. Each have slight experimentation in processing.
Purchased for $4.10 a pound green. Stored in Dupuy Jacksonville so we save a little on shipping by picking it up ourselves.
Agropecuária Baianeira - Purchased through Ally Coffee
Ally Coffee is definitely one of the larger sourcing partners we work with. However, Ally has done heaps for coffee producers and has continued to work ethically while growing to such a large size. Due to their size they are able move tons of coffee and so green prices have a wider spread. This lot was made by two friends who purchased a farm back in '02 who wanted to produce coffee and have a better means to invest in their region. We purchased this coffee for $2.25 a pound. The green price is definitely a little lower but this is reflective of most coffees coming out of Brazil.
Lady Moncayo - Purchased through La Real Expedecion Botanica.
This coffee was purchased for $4.60 a pound green. And it has a SCA cupping score of 86. It is stored in Jacksonville at Dupuy, so shipping cost is just gas to go pick it up.
Nolberto Olaya - Purchased through Shared Source.
This coffee was purchased for $3.90 a pound green with a SCA cupping score of 86.5. It was stored in Costa Ora in Seattle, so shipping cost was for a pallet, and was 300 dollars for the entire pallet.
Banda Rebelde - Purchased through Shared Source.
This coffee was purchased for $3.40 a pound green with a SCA cupping score of 83. It was stored in Costa Ora in Seattle, so shipping cost was split with the Nolberto coffee on the pallet. This coffee was bought as a blending element and to be used as espresso and cold brew.