In recent years an emerging trend is the microlot-ization of quality coffees, i.e. buyers look for small lots of truly differentiated premium beans that are directly sourced. Accessing the microlot markets, is therefore of key importance to smallholders working themselves out of poverty.
One of the fundamental drivers for sustainable transformation is the price that smallholders receive for their coffee. To that effect Axiom places significant emphasis in two critical areas:
- Ensuring the smallholders understand what is necessary and have the resources to produce a premium quality coffee
- Helping international buyers recognize value when a smallholder delivers an outstanding product.
ELIVERING THEIR PRECIOUS CARGO
Meet Faustian and Paulino who come from the village of Thioga located in Todos Santos, Guatemala; When we first met them, our country director Christian Escoffie advised them of the many complexities and commitment required for them to access the international markets. Christian explains: “THIS GROUP OF FARMERS WAS VERY LIMITED IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND CAPACITY – THEY POSSESSED ONE SHARED HAND PULPING MACHINE!- I WAS NOT HOPEFUL ABOUT THEIR ABILITY TO PRODUCE QUALITY COFFEE IN THE SHORT TERM; CHALLENGING THEM TO MAKE SIMPLE IMPROVEMENTS ON HARVESTING, SORTING, WASHING AND DRYING THEIR COFFEES”. “WITHIN MONTHS, AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS PAST HARVEST, THEY RETURNED WITH A COUPLE TONS OF COFFEE. I WAS IMPRESSED WITH THE COFFEES’ APPEARANCE BUT ALERTED THEM ABOUT THE HIGH MOISTURE CONTENT. I OFFERED THEM OPTIONS FOR BETTER SELECTION AND SUN DRYING THEIR COFFEE USING SIMPLE METHODS TO ASSESS THEIR PRODUCT WITHOUT SOPHISTICATED EQUIPMENT. MUCH TO MY ASTONISHMENT, WITHIN WEEKS THEY RETURNED AGAIN WITH FIVE TONS OF PERFECTLY DRIED EXTRAORDINARY COFFEE.”
Farmers capable of producing these high quality micro lots are considered amongst the top 1 percentile in the world. Axiom's Training Programs are transforming our smallholders’ best practices and focus on quality- providing a path for them to join that top echelon.
Microlots are sold at between 2-4 times the values of conventional coffee. The Smallholder’s income increase is 125%-200%, which has a huge impact on the farmers and their families; and is key for long-lasting alliances with the trade/roasters. The improved pricing is thecatalyst of real and sustainable smallholder farms and community transformation.
Crop To Cup Alliance:
The development of markets for these premium microlots require specialized capabilities in processing, financing, shipping, importing, warehousing and distribution. Axiom developed partnerships with specialized mills, importers, trading companies and distributors to serve the needs of those interested in purchasing these higher grade smallholder coffee.
Crop to Cup - Sales and Distribution http://www.croptocup.com
One of these key partners in sales/distribution of our smallholder microlots is Crop to Cup seen here working with our quality experts Jorge De Leon and Israel Paz in developing a combined understanding and knowledge to help to promote these highly specialized coffees and the smallholder stories behind each microlot.
To read more about this collaboration....http://whencoffeespeaks.com/2015/08/04/celebrate-the-good/
Our thanks and appreciation to Crop to Cup and these other partners who enabled Axiom to provide our smallholders with such life-transforming opportunity.