Farm to Cup: Coffee Symbiosis

Posted by Christina Stopka on

Buena Vida Coffee cares about every single bean that goes into your coffee. This means that we even help take care of our farmers who produce the beans. The BVC coffee beans that you brew each morning in your favorite mug come straight from the farm, and we like to call this the “Farm to Cup” model. Since BVC is a student-run company, we do not have the resources to source and roast the coffee ourselves. However, we have partnered with Stone Creek Coffee (SCC), a coffee company in Milwaukee, to help us with that part of the business.

Originally, SCC came up with this term “Farm to Cup” because it is the easiest way they could describe how they source coffee. This model is very similar to the “Farm to Table” term restaurants often source their foods from local farmers. Stone Creek Coffee travels farther away to Central American countries and build strong relationships with the farmers. “Together we create a coffee symbiosis. As we grow, we can buy more coffee, which sustains the farmer to produce more and better coffee.”

In addition, this coffee symbiosis relates to social responsibility, and that is extremely important to both BVC and SCC. In order to run a successful business, good quality coffee is needed. But while we’re at it, we also help to better the lives of the farmers and their families since SCC and BVC buys their coffee directly from them. Most coffee farmers do not sell their crop directly to the coffee companies. Instead, they sell their coffee beans to larger multinational companies who pay them for “market price.” The market price constantly fluctuates depending of supply and demand.

This way is less reliable especially on the farmer’s part. The farmers have families to feed, educate, and provide for. With market prices fluctuating, it is hard for a farmer to have a dependable income. Buying directly from the farmer is a little bit of a risk because “you could get a substantial premium or you could be taking a loss.” However, working directly with a farmer enables the roaster to not pay more than he or she needs and the producer is selling with enough margin that they can plant more crops, build new drying facilities, etc. Directly buying from the farmer inevitably creates a unique relationship between the roaster and the farmer that in the end will benefit both sides of the relationship.

Over the last decade, we have learned much of our values from SCC and hold many of the same moral standards as them. BVC and SCC believe that it is important for you to know who and where your coffee comes from. We go that extra mile to ensure that we give you incredible coffee. We know that coffee in the morning makes your day better, so we are trying to spread that same sort of feeling to other parts of the world.

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