Tag Archive for: business

Grounds for Health

Healthy Women Play a Pivotal Role in the Future of Coffee

Categories: 2015, JulyTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Project Description
Women have always played a crit­i­cal role in the cof­fee­lands. Shouldering nearly 70% of the labor bur­den at ori­gin, they are also instru­men­tal in shap­ing the social and eco­nomic fab­ric of coffee-farming com­mu­ni­ties. And as pro­grams to sup­port gen­der equity take hold, women are primed to play an even more influ­en­tial role in the future of the world’s sup­ply of cof­fee and the sus­tain­abil­ity of the sup­ply chain.

In order for these women to reach their full poten­tial as farm­ers, accoun­tants, man­agers and com­mu­nity and busi­ness lead­ers, they must be healthy.

Grounds for Health is com­mit­ted to help­ing women in the cof­fee­lands max­i­mize their poten­tial by pro­vid­ing life-saving health ser­vices at ori­gin. Specifically, we deliver much-needed screen­ing and treat­ment for cer­vi­cal can­cer, an eas­ily pre­vented dis­ease that kills more women in most devel­op­ing coun­tries than mater­nal causes.

In November 2014, we expanded our geo­graphic reach to Ethiopia. In early 2015, we launched the Roasters Challenge cam­paign, our first fundrais­ing cam­paign backed by the U.S. Government.

With gen­er­ous seed funds from Dean Cycon of Dean’s Beans and Bob Fulmer of Royal Coffee, Inc. and fur­ther sup­port by cof­fee com­pa­nies from across the United States, we were able to raise more than $200K by our dead­line, Mother’s Day 2015. A match­ing con­tri­bu­tion from the U.S. Government’s PEPFAR pro­gram, a public-private part­ner­ship focused on reduc­ing deaths from cer­vi­cal and breast can­cer in Latin America and Africa, trans­lated to a total of $400K to help us expand our impact on Ethiopia’s coffee-growing communities.

Grounds for Health addresses a crit­i­cal gap in women’s health ser­vices in Ethiopia, where there are approx­i­mately 20 mil­lion women at risk for devel­op­ing cer­vi­cal can­cer and 5,000 pre­ventable deaths expected in 2015. The pro­gram is the first of its kind in the country’s coffee-growing regions and aims to reach women between the ages of 30–49 with screen­ing and treat­ment services.

In part­ner­ship with the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon ini­tia­tive, Grounds for Health is expand­ing cer­vi­cal can­cer screen­ing and pre­ven­tive ther­apy ser­vices to 19 dis­tricts in Sidama zone as well as other zones in Western Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). The orga­ni­za­tion works closely with the Sidama Coffee Farmers Coöperative Union (SCFCU) as well as the Sidama Zone Health Department and Regional Health Bureau of the SNNPR. The col­lab­o­ra­tive nature of the work is crit­i­cal to ensur­ing ade­quate train­ing of health providers and com­mu­nity health pro­mot­ers and cre­at­ing aware­ness for the pro­gram in order to max­i­mize the num­ber of women screened and treated.

Through this ini­tia­tive, nearly 1,400 women have ben­e­fited from Grounds for Health’s ser­vices in Ethiopia. The pro­gram is well on its way to screen thou­sands more this year and expand to mul­ti­ple dis­trict health cen­ters in the near future.

Readers can help by
There are sev­eral ways to con­tribute to Grounds for Health’s pro­grams in Latin America and Africa.
1. Individuals.
Individuals can donate to Grounds for Health: For those inter­ested in sup­port­ing a spe­cific project, check the box next to “I would like to des­ig­nate this dona­tion to a spe­cific fund” and select the project of choice.

2. Corporate Supporters and/or employ­ees.
We offer many ways to sup­port our pro­grams through work­place giv­ing, cause-marketing and other ini­tia­tives that help com­pa­nies rein­force busi­ness and CSR objec­tives. Please con­tact Pam Kahl, for more information.

Follow Grounds for Health:

Project Contact:
Pam Kahl


(802) 876‑7835

Project URL:

Ethiopia, Sidama Zone, Southern Nation and Nationalities Region (SNNPR)

Project Impact:
Delivering life-saving health ser­vices to women liv­ing in rural coffee-growing regions of Ethiopia.

Improving the Lives of Small Farmers in Colombia

Categories: 2015, JulyTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Project Description
The pri­mary objec­tive of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) exten­sion ser­vice is to ensure the ongo­ing train­ing and knowl­edge trans­fer to cof­fee grow­ers so essen­tial for boost­ing crop pro­duc­tion and yield qual­ity and for improv­ing the lives of Colombia’s farm­ing families.

Recently, MEAS (Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services) a USAID-funded global project, cited FNC’s Extension Service as a bench­mark for other agri­cul­tural sec­tors in Colombia and the world. MEAS noted that while other mod­els focus almost exclu­sively on tech­ni­cal assis­tance and pro­duc­tion, the FNC model is comprehensive—attending to social aspects, com­mu­nity and asso­cia­tive devel­op­ment and sup­port to families.

In an aver­age year, the FNC Extension Services, which fields 1,500 trained men and women, directly con­tacts cof­fee grow­ers from all over Colombia 1.5 mil­lion times. In addi­tion, FNC stays in close touch with grow­ers through other chan­nels, includ­ing 64 rural radio sta­tions, eight regional news­pa­pers, a national TV pro­gram hosted by the fic­tional char­ac­ter, Professor Yarumo, vir­tual com­mu­ni­ca­tions via cel­lu­lar and e-mail updates, cal­en­dars and mate­ri­als dis­trib­uted nationwide.

In exe­cut­ing the model, an FNC exten­sion agent will be updated with the FNC´s research center’s (Cenicafé) lat­est devel­op­ments through online instruc­tion and in-person train­ing in the Manuel Mejia Foundation edu­ca­tional head­quar­ters, tak­ing advan­tage of Cenicafé instruc­tors and mate­ri­als they pro­duced. Field prac­tices and vis­its to the cen­ter are part of the cur­ricu­lum. Course mate­r­ial cov­ers basic com­put­ing, soils, exten­sion ser­vice meth­ods, cli­mate and cof­fee pro­duc­tion, holis­tic rust man­age­ment, eco­log­i­cal post-harvest pro­cess­ing, and other top­ics rel­e­vant to good agro­nomic practices.

FNC Extension Services and grower sup­port, along with FNC’s research cen­ter Cenicafe, are crit­i­cal in pre­serv­ing and pro­tect­ing the qual­ity of Colombian cof­fee and its Denominations of Origin. Extension train­ing ensures a reli­able sup­ply of crops and high– qual­ity prod­uct while expand­ing mar­ket­place access and improv­ing busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties for small farmers.

The inno­v­a­tive tech­nolo­gies, agri­cul­tural prac­tices, sus­tain­abil­ity pro­to­cols and farm man­age­ment skills intro­duced by FNC Extension Services enable grow­ers to oper­ate more cost effi­ciently and become more com­pet­i­tive by sell­ing at higher prices. Also, the FNC´s exten­sion ser­vice helps grow­ers adopt dif­fer­ent pro­grams, such as Colombia´s suc­cess­ful fight against cof­fee leaf rust.    All of this works to advance Colombia’s cof­fee grow­ing fam­i­lies higher up the value chain, enhanc­ing the qual­ity of life for farm­ing fam­i­lies while strength­en­ing and sta­bi­liz­ing com­mu­ni­ties.
FNC agents, who are meant to be friends as well as advi­sors, are com­mit­ted tech­ni­cians who under­stand how to com­mu­ni­cate with pro­duc­ers and inspire trust.  Agents rep­re­sent­ing FNC must be able to trans­fer their knowl­edge effec­tively and in a way that gen­er­ates adop­tion of the rec­om­mended prac­tices; they must be equipped with peo­ple skills and the abil­ity to relate to the cof­fee grow­ers and their families.

The approach taken by the FNC places the focus more on the farm­ers and their fam­i­lies than on the phys­i­cal cof­fee plan­ta­tions. The empha­sis on human and com­mu­nity rural devel­op­ment that char­ac­ter­izes the deliv­ery of Extension Services pro­grams has gen­er­ated trust from the cof­fee grow­ers towards the FNC as a cof­fee institution.

Readers can help by
According to MEAS, almost 75 per­cent of the world’s poor are sub­sis­tence farm­ers, with over 400 mil­lion farm­ers oper­at­ing on less than two hectares of land.  Smallholder agri­cul­tural sys­tems are increas­ingly man­aged by women, under­scor­ing the social impor­tance of agri­cul­ture, which has been iden­ti­fied by the World Bank as “a dri­ver of growth and poverty reduc­tion” in rural areas.

The over­all impact of FNC’s Extension Services is to help alle­vi­ate poverty. Readers can help sus­tain and expand the FNC Extension Services model, which MEAS has called exem­plary, through fund­ing sup­port. With so many ben­e­fits impact­ing the lives of cof­fee grow­ing fam­i­lies, sev­eral cof­fee roast­ers, such as Nespresso and Nestle, have joined the FNC to increase the reach and the depth of Colombia´s suc­cess­ful exten­sion model.  Those brands that believe in the impor­tant role FNC tech­ni­cians play in improv­ing the lives of Colombian cof­fee grow­ers estab­lish coöper­a­tion mod­els and com­mon objec­tives. Also, with the sup­port from Colombia´s national and regional gov­ern­ments, the FNC has been able to increase the num­ber of exten­sion­ists to nearly 1,500 women and men that deliver tech­ni­cal exper­tise to farmers.

Project Contact:
Luis F. Samper


571 3136631

Project URL:

Colombia, 22 depart­ments (out of 32) in Colombia, where cof­fee grows

Project Impact:
The Extensionist Service model has impacted more than 400,000 cof­fee grow­ers in Colombia.

Roasters Rock

Categories: 2015, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

You are pas­sion­ate about cof­fee. You stud­ied every­thing you could study. You called your first cou­ple of jobs in cof­fee your ‘appren­tice­ship’ for start­ing your own busi­ness. You found some seed money. You found a loca­tion. You opened your doors and cre­ated a lit­tle slice of spe­cialty cof­fee heaven in your neighborhood.

If this describes you, con­grat­u­la­tions! You made it to stage 1 of your busi­ness. If you are not here yet, you prob­a­bly will be, so read on to look into the future. But be warned; this arti­cle might tick you off.

This is prob­a­bly not news to those already com­mit­ted to a lease, but to every­one else: News Flash! Passionate cof­fee peo­ple are not by default good busi­ness peo­ple! Passion has on many occa­sions flown in the face of good busi­ness prac­tices. The arti­sanal cof­fee guy / gal does not care about the mun­dane and icky prac­tice of look­ing at the bot­tom line and mak­ing a profit because they have works of art to roast and brew. The busi­ness will just take care of itself! Right?

Unfortunately that is what a lot of small busi­ness peo­ple think, and how they treat their busi­ness. But with a proper amount of ‘evil cap­i­tal­ism’ the com­pany could be set to do some won­der­ful things. But there is some­thing you must do first:

Decide on what you want to be when you grow up.

From hum­ble begin­nings, lit­tle com­pa­nies like Starbucks (SBUX) and Green Mountain (GMCR) had a goal of being big play­ers in busi­ness. It may not have started that way though. There were bat­tles among the inner cir­cles to ‘stay true to the art’ or find a will­ing mar­ket and go big. Either choice is a good one. You need to start think­ing about your choice, because you should make it and be ready to do every­thing pos­si­ble to get where you want to go.

Why not do both? Examples of this work­ing out well are few and far between. Most do not suc­ceed because the busi­ness mod­els are at odds with each other. ‘Big’ wants indus­trial space and man­u­fac­tur­ing lines. ‘Artisanal’ wants a great retail loca­tion and a small batch roaster. They are just two sep­a­rate busi­ness mod­els. There are a few exam­ples of suc­cess­ful ‘small’ scal­ing up: Intelligencia, Stumptown, and Blue Bottle come to mind but none of them are ‘huge’ and yet the Artisanal world ego­tis­ti­cally and jeal­ously call them ‘sell outs.’ Some big guys invest in spe­cialty: Farmer Brothers buys Coffee Bean International, and the same peo­ple whis­per that they are try­ing to be some­thing they are not.

To all those that look at these com­pa­nies and see some­thing other than beau­ti­ful suc­cess sto­ries: Get over your­selves! What do YOU want to be when you grow up? Financially you had bet­ter AT LEAST say that it will fund your retire­ment by 65 or you are just cre­at­ing a job for your­self for the rest of your life. You really should be wear­ing a busi­ness hat from time to time and plan for your exit at the top that sets you and your kids up for life. This requires an arti­sanal skill all its own in the art called busi­ness planning.

So if you made it to stage 1 men­tioned ear­lier, there is a good chance you are now stuck. It is time to get to stage 2: Planned pros­per­ity. This will require you to think dif­fer­ently or get some­one who can do that for you. If you do not already have a part­ner that is the ‘busi­ness mind’ of the com­pany you should get one. A com­mon way to do this is to orga­nize an advi­sory board made up of friends, fam­ily, cus­tomers, and out­siders that care about you and your suc­cess. The only require­ment to be on your board is to give hon­est input and be will­ing to help you achieve the goals once they are set. If they are just there to be ‘yes-men’ then you have the wrong people.

Steps to Stage 2:

1) Get your busi­ness mind to work. You can hire a part­ner, seat a board, retain a con­sul­tant or use some other method to get an out­side viewpoint.

2) Make task one of your panel to help you decide what your com­pany wants to be when it grows up.

a. Pros and cons of going big or stay­ing small.

b. Figure out what suc­cess looks like to you and become com­fort­able with it.

c. Set a finan­cial ‘done’ num­ber so you know when you made it.

3) Use the exper­tise of the advi­sors to design a plan that will get you to ‘done’.

a. Then plan will be spe­cific, account­able and obtainable.

b. The plan will have bench­marks, mile­stones and reviews.

4) Choose to make it happen.

a. Just like you got to stage 1, your tenac­ity, drive and pas­sion should get you to stage 2.

b. If you are not a good project man­ager, peo­ple man­ager, or lack the skills to get any part of the plan done, hire the right peo­ple to do it. (This should be part of plan­ning as well.)

Business is NOT a choice between ‘being true to the art’ and ‘sell­ing out.’ It is a deci­sion to make your com­pany work for you instead of you work­ing for your com­pany. If you believe in the end goal then you are being true to yourself.

Rocky Rhodes is an 18 year cof­fee vet­eran, roaster, and Q-Grader Instructor, and his mis­sion now is to trans­form the cof­fee sup­ply chain and make sweep­ing dif­fer­ences in the lives of those that pro­duce the green cof­fee. Rocky can be reached at

The By-product of Crowd Funding

Categories: 2015, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

With the last arti­cles detail­ing the crowd fund­ing phe­nom­ena, one area that may not be obvi­ous is that the mar­ket is talk­ing.  The mar­ket over the past cou­ple of years has spo­ken about want­ing higher qual­ity cof­fee prod­ucts, espe­cially the kind that can be used at home.  And price hasn’t been an issue with some devices cost­ing over $500.  But you have to won­der: is any­one out­side of the con­sumer listening?

Take Bonaverde for exam­ple: they had not one but three suc­cess­ful crowd fund­ing cam­paigns that raised over $2m dol­lars in fund­ing.  It’s been nearly two years since the first two rounds, and approach­ing one year since the third (and largest) round closed.  But there has been nary a men­tion of a sim­i­lar prod­uct by any estab­lished cof­fee machine pro­ducer, nor another repeat by a crowd fund­ing cam­paign to pro­duce a sim­i­lar machine.

On the other end of the spec­trum you had ZPM Espresso, who raised over $350k in fund­ing for the ini­tial round, and after nearly two years com­pletely imploded.  And thus far, there hasn’t been another prod­uct like the ZPM machine that has come to mar­ket, nor even announced by a com­pany with the means to pro­duce said machine.  And both the ZPM and Bonaverde devices are the basis, the start­ing point, for a good cup of coffee.

But then com­ing into play is the unan­tic­i­pated by-product of a crowd fund­ing cam­paign:  test­ing the waters.  It’s also referred to by other adjec­tives: mar­ket research, con­cept val­i­da­tion, test marketing.

Look at Pebble (the pre-iWatch smart watch).  While they raised an ini­tial round of fund­ing via ven­ture cap­i­tal, ulti­mately they needed a larger infu­sion of cash and turned to crowd fund­ing.  Via Kickstarter, they raised over $10m in fund­ing, and after some devel­op­ment hic­cups, deliv­ered as promised.  But hav­ing estab­lished their prod­uct and their com­pany, they still con­tinue to launch prod­ucts via crowd fund­ing.  Their third gen­er­a­tion watch, Pebble Time, raised over $20m.  If any­thing, Pebble just rede­fined prod­uct launches.  Rather than go down costly devel­op­ment, tra­di­tional PR and mar­ket­ing (includ­ing prod­uct launches) plus sales into brick-and-mortar shops, they’ve essen­tially elim­i­nated a large and costly risk by going direct to con­sumers with their next gen­er­a­tion product.

If the fol­low up Pebble cam­paign had failed, it would have allowed the com­pany to reduce its risk by stop­ping devel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing of its prod­uct.  There is one dif­fer­ence between Pebble and the Bonaverde/ZPM prod­ucts:  Pebble suc­cess­fully deliv­ered on the first cam­paign.  It gave Pebble the insight to not repeat mis­takes on sub­se­quent cam­paigns.  And by using the cam­paign to launch a new prod­uct, they test-marketed their new prod­uct with low risk.   And with iWatch, Pebble now has the 800-pound gorilla in their backyard.

Bringing this back to cof­fee and past cam­paigns, there have been suc­cess­ful val­i­da­tions of con­cepts, rang­ing from grinders to cof­fee tours (and the fund­ing of a cof­fee shop on the cof­fee bean farm.)  Outside of these cam­paigns, there hasn’t been quite the fol­low up by larger com­peti­tors, or even smaller-scale dream­ers look­ing to turn their dreams into real­ity.  In fact, it could be argued that the major­ity of cof­fee crowd fund­ing cam­paigns aren’t pre­sent­ing any­thing unique.  Many of the cam­paigns are solic­it­ing money to open cof­fee houses (mobile or brick and mor­tar) in local com­mu­ni­ties, but aren’t truly doing some­thing that would be defined as a ‘mar­ket dis­rup­tor’ (like ZPM, Bonaverde, or even Pebble.)   For exam­ple, one of the cam­paigns fea­tures a mobile cof­fee truck, with a skate­board theme.  It’ll team up with two estab­lished cof­fee bean providers and use state-of-the-art equip­ment; all while play­ing cool skat­ing videos while you wait for your cof­fee.  They’ve also begun to bot­tle up their cold brew coffee.

The mar­ket will decide ulti­mately, but ven­tures like these are using crowd fund­ing to raise start-up cap­i­tal for a busi­ness that doesn’t truly bring some­thing new to the mar­ket.  These cam­paigns are all over the map in terms of their scope and finan­cial seek.  Many are suc­cess­ful, but aren’t mar­ket dis­rupters.  Again, the mar­ket is speak­ing, but is any­one listening?

By now with ZPM and Bonaverde, you’d expect a large scale, mass mar­ket cof­fee maker to tap into what is essen­tially free mar­ket research, and begin devel­op­ing a machine, whether for the mass mar­ket or higher end audi­ence.  A machine to attract new cus­tomers, while also poten­tially appeal­ing to your exist­ing cus­tomers.  Companies like Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Mr. Coffee, and more.  Yes, they make tra­di­tional cof­fee machines and not the more élite-style brew­ers like Bonavita, Bunn.

If you look at past crowd fund­ing per­for­mance, the mar­ket has clearly spo­ken.  But is any­one listening?

by Brian Wiklem

OCS Survival Strategies">OCS Survival Strategies

Categories: 2015, JuneTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Margins are shrink­ing, and the cost of doing busi­ness con­tin­ues to increase. Will the Office Coffee indus­try be con­sumed by another ver­ti­cal indus­try? The one-stop-shop prin­ci­ple in office deliv­ery has legit­i­mate cost-saving oppor­tu­ni­ties through increased order size, but often increases deliv­ery cost because con­sumers can pur­chase small orders every day with­out penalty. Operators may require a deliv­ery charge for small orders, or add a ben­e­fit for large orders. Regardless of deliv­ery method or require­ment, the con­sumer will buy what they want when they want it. The pric­ing strat­egy is an impor­tant com­po­nent of the busi­ness plan, and remains a valid tool for success.

BANANAS pro­vide cer­tain health ben­e­fits, and may hold a secret to pric­ing strat­egy. Today many peo­ple will pur­chase bananas from their favorite gro­cery store, or as an impulse buy from a con­ve­nience store. What is the price of bananas today? Perhaps the price is $0.49, 0.59, 0.69, or more per pound. Some peo­ple will know the price of bananas before they buy; most will not know the price, but will buy because this is an item they buy on a reg­u­lar basis. Bananas are not the only prod­uct this pric­ing strat­egy applies to, but pro­vide a clear visual for fluc­tu­a­tion in price.

Consumers become loyal to cer­tain gro­cery stores for many rea­sons. The rea­sons for loy­alty may include con­sis­tently low prices, con­sis­tently high-quality items, loy­alty pro­grams, good/friendly ser­vice or a con­ve­nient loca­tion to name a few. One mis­step in ser­vice by the gro­cery store pushes the con­sumer to other options. These basic ideas par­al­lel why con­sumers pur­chase from Office Coffee Service (OCS) oper­a­tors, and why con­sumers move to other providers.

Some pric­ing strat­egy in the OCS indus­try is based on com­pe­ti­tion, whole­sale, and green cof­fee prices. Responding to whole­sale and green cof­fee prices is pre­dictable, so com­peti­tors know when oper­a­tors increase prices. Raising prices based on whole­sale increase only allows oper­a­tors to main­tain a mar­gin. Perhaps the pric­ing strat­egy should reflect the needs of the OCS. Operators desire growth, and profit through a pric­ing strat­egy pro­vides the medium for growth. Pricing for growth requires a daily strategy.

Many accounts are won and lost because of ser­vice or new prod­uct options. Most cus­tomers are loyal until a mis­step occurs, and do not ana­lyze every price on each deliv­ery. A select few cus­tomers have con­tract pric­ing, and prices must match pur­chase orders. Operators should not base the entire price strat­egy on the select few. Operators need to main­tain a high level of ser­vice and con­ve­nience to keep cus­tomers, and the profit mar­gin dic­tates how many assets are avail­able to sus­tain the service.

The con­cept for price increases is sim­ple. Review the items sold most fre­quently, and cre­ate a strat­egy to increase the price. Raise prices less than 10% no more than twice per year on top sell­ing items with a goal to recap­ture lost mar­gin. Common sense strat­egy moves cof­fee prices in the sum­mer and cold bev­er­ages in the win­ter. The strat­egy is not based on a whole­sale price increases, or cof­fee rust in Brazil, rather the need for more profit to main­tain ser­vice lev­els. What is the price of roll tow­els on Wednesday?

The price strat­egy is the most impor­tant task each day. Operators have seen mar­gins erode from 60% or greater down to upper 30%, or lower 40%. The orig­i­nal mar­gins were not based on greed, rather the need to main­tain equip­ment, and ser­vice. Lower mar­gins com­pro­mise oper­a­tions, and are unsus­tain­able. Occasionally oper­a­tors increase pric­ing across the board on a sin­gle cus­tomer because of the cus­tomer pur­chas­ing habits, or loca­tion. This method increases the pos­si­bil­ity that a cus­tomer will stop pur­chas­ing, and is counter-productive. What is the price of Splenda on Thursday?

Grocery store adver­tise­ments cir­cu­late reg­u­larly, and do not adver­tise increases. The cir­cu­lar explains when the prices are in effect, and when the pric­ing ends. OCS oper­a­tors may employ a sim­i­lar strat­egy to pro­mote new items, or increase sales on items not sell­ing well. Operators are not required to send a let­ter to cus­tomers explain­ing price increases. Some cus­tomers, not the major­ity, may push-back on an increase, and should be addressed indi­vid­u­ally. The push-back is an oppor­tu­nity to become a hero by mov­ing the price back, but should also be used as a sales oppor­tu­nity. Take time to meet with the cus­tomer, and talk about other prod­uct cat­e­gories avail­able includ­ing new cof­fee options. What is the price of tea bags on Friday?

New cus­tomers pre­fer to have a term for price guar­an­tees, which is nego­ti­ated dur­ing the sale. The pric­ing strat­egy should be in effect when the guar­an­tee term ends. Prices should not be sta­tic, because the cost of doing busi­ness con­tin­ues to change. This method is not a dis­hon­est shell game used to trick cus­tomers, rather a jus­ti­fi­able process to main­tain a high level of ser­vice to the con­sumer. The pric­ing strat­egy is an oblig­a­tion to share­hold­ers, and pro­vides an expected return on invest­ment. What is the price of hot choco­late today?

Big Box stores and other com­peti­tors con­tinue to reduce oper­a­tor mar­gins. Consumers desire good ser­vice at fair prices. Operational costs con­tinue to increase. The OCS indus­try is not bul­let­proof, and oper­a­tors should con­tinue to edu­cate them­selves to pro­vide the exper­tise the con­sumer desires. The indus­try will con­tinue to inno­vate, and bring solu­tions to con­sumers expect­ing con­ve­nience and qual­ity. The price strat­egy allows oper­a­tors the finan­cial needs to trans­form the indus­try, and pro­vide the best ser­vice possible.

by Dan Ragan, Pod Pack International, LTD.

Roasters Rock

Categories: 2015, MayTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Where Traditional and Functional Collide

Seo Duk-Sik and Rocky Rhodes - paintAfter enough time in the indus­try, one gets fewer and fewer moments of sur­prise. This was one of those moments. What would you say if you were offered the chance to roast on a char­coal fueled roaster? Of course you say “yes.” Then you quickly fol­low that with, “Huh? How does it work? Is it a drum roaster? How old is it?” The oppor­tu­nity to try some­thing new in roast­ing, even if it is some­thing old, is fun, and you should never pass on the opportunity.

If you find your­self trav­el­ling out­side the US on cof­fee busi­ness you are likely to be offered a tour of cof­fee houses in the area. It is your host’s way of say­ing we are proud of what we do and want to share it with you and the United States. It is a great com­fort to know that every­where in the world there is 3rd wave cof­fee being delivered.

In South Korea, Seoul in par­tic­u­lar, great cof­fee is every­where you turn. The study of cof­fee and imple­men­ta­tion of best prac­tices is on every cor­ner. It is such a vibrant cof­fee scene that ‘really good’ is expected and ‘excel­lent’ is easy to find. So good is the cof­fee that dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion is harder to achieve. A new phe­nom­e­non in cof­fee is at hand which has been dri­ven pri­mar­ily though the Barista pro­fes­sion. Doing some­thing ‘dif­fer­ent’ to get to that excel­lent cup.

These ‘dif­fer­ent’ things include menu pair­ings, new drip­per sys­tems, 1 kilo roast­ers in the shop, roast­ing one cup’s worth of beans over the stove to order, and other really unique things. Some things, how­ever, reach to the past for that differentiation.

In Japan, dif­fer­ent fuels were used in roast­ing cof­fee. One read­ily avail­able source of fuel was char­coal. Fuji Royal built a roaster to use this fuel in a small batch drum roaster. The fla­vor that came from this charcoal-fueled roaster became uniquely asso­ci­ated with Japan.

A Korean cof­fee enthu­si­ast stud­ied roast­ing in Japan and brought that style to Seoul. Seo Duk-Sik has expanded his tal­ent and cof­fee enter­prise and sells a great deal of his cof­fee back to Japan. He started Kaldi cof­fee in Seoul and moved his roast­ing facil­ity out of the city where there was more room for pro­duc­tion and less restric­tions on emis­sions. The fla­vor holds true to this ‘Japanese Style’ of roasting.

Charcoal roasting - paintAfter a tour of the plant and an oppor­tu­nity to run the machine for a cou­ple of roasts, some inter­est­ing dis­cov­er­ies were made. The most impor­tant of which is that there are dif­fer­ent tastes for dif­fer­ent folks. Who is to say what is right or wrong? With this char­coal roaster, tra­di­tion and brisk sales indi­cate that Kaldi is ‘right’ with this style because sales are increas­ing by hold­ing on to the ‘old ways.’ Remember that cof­fee is hun­dreds of years old and ‘Specialty cof­fee’ is only about three decades into its infancy.

The Fuji Royal char­coal roaster is a pretty unique beast. It oper­ates with two air­flow motors; one for roast­ing and one for cool­ing. The chaff col­lec­tor is unique in that it has a water cur­tain that the smoke must flow through before enter­ing the cyclone cham­ber. This is nec­es­sary for a char­coal roaster because embers fly all over the place and are eas­ily sucked into the exhaust. Embers are extin­guished and then the water leav­ing the cyclone is screened and the wet chaff is col­lected. Smoke that remains exits nor­mally through the exhaust pipe.

Traditional and func­tional aspects of the roast­ing are often at odds with each other on this machine. The fire box is stoked with char­coal, ignited by gas, and then the gas is cut off. There is an art and a dis­ci­pline to plac­ing the pieces of char­coal to pro­duce an even heat directly below the drum. During the roast cer­tain pieces are removed or added to increase or decrease the heat. Different ways of intro­duc­ing oxy­gen to the sys­tem also allows flex­i­bil­ity in tem­per­a­ture control.

Airflow through the drum is very low so as not to suck up too many embers. To increase the amount of air flow­ing through the beans it uses a com­pletely per­fo­rated drum that sits directly above the fuel source and all of the heat is pulled through the cof­fee. This pro­duces a lot of radi­ant heat mixed with some con­vec­tive. This would be the oppo­site of more recent drum roaster designs where higher air­flow pro­duces more con­vec­tive heat and the hot steel of the solid drum pro­duces con­tact heat. If you think the fla­vor pro­file would be dif­fer­ent, you would be right!

The low con­vec­tive heat causes a roast to take 20 min­utes or more. Just before the roast comes out Seo Duk-Sik damp­ens the air­flow allow­ing the char­coal smoke to enter the cham­ber and add what is almost a mesquite fla­vor to the beans. The result is a smoky, heavy-bodied, low-acid cof­fee. And it is this pro­file that is the sig­na­ture taste for this kind of roaster.

While watch­ing this process, it would be easy for ‘spe­cialty roast­ers’ of the West to think of about a dozen ways to ‘improve’ the func­tion­al­ity of the machine. But as a good roaster must always do; fig­ure out the out­come you want and then roast to that out­come. If the machine were changed, this tra­di­tional fla­vor would be lost. In this case the machine is per­fectly func­tional for the out­come. And the result­ing cof­fee res­onates with Kaldi’s customers.

Being tra­di­tional is being unique, and unique has found a mar­ket amongst all of the other cof­fee shops.

Rocky Rhodes is an 18 year cof­fee vet­eran, roaster, and Q-Grader Instructor, and his mis­sion now is to trans­form the cof­fee sup­ply chain and make sweep­ing dif­fer­ences in the lives of those that pro­duce the green cof­fee. Rocky can be reached at

Private Label Success

Categories: 2015, MayTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Things have changed in the world of pri­vate label sales. Retailers used to stock pri­vate label prod­ucts as a way to fill shelf space. Today, retail­ers look at private-label as an impor­tant piece of their brand image. Roasters tra­di­tion­ally would fall into one cat­e­gory: pri­vate label or branded man­u­fac­tur­ing. Today roast­ers con­sider pri­vate label busi­ness an impor­tant part of their diver­si­fied sales offering.

Selling pri­vate label cof­fee is a com­pli­cated busi­ness. There is an enor­mous amount of eco­nomic and phys­i­cal risk on both sides of the busi­ness. Private label brand man­agers have the respon­si­bil­ity to nego­ti­ate agree­ments, man­age sup­ply chains, develop retail mer­chan­dis­ing pro­grams, and ensure the finan­cial health of the cat­e­gory. Coffee roast­ers sales man­agers have the com­plex respon­si­bil­ity of coör­di­nat­ing green coffee/materials buy­ing, pro­duc­tion sched­ules, prod­uct devel­op­ment, qual­ity con­trol, dis­tri­b­u­tion and finan­cial man­age­ment. The core of the pri­vate label rela­tion­ship is pro­vid­ing the ser­vices and sup­port in a col­lab­o­ra­tive way to ensure mutual success.

There are 7 ways to insure busi­ness suc­cess for pri­vate label cof­fee. Simply pro­vid­ing a great tast­ing prod­uct and/or the low­est price bid is not enough in today’s com­pet­i­tive mar­ket. Conversely, award­ing a con­tract and sim­ply pay­ing invoices on time will not guar­an­tee the level of ser­vice to ensure your success.

Commitment – Private label busi­ness takes time and resources. Understanding each other’s objec­tives and pres­sure points is the start. All busi­ness func­tions, from the brand to the roaster, must be aligned and in agree­ment with the same goals. Both busi­nesses must under­stand the needs of the other in order to work together to pro­vide the ser­vices and get the sup­port each needs to suc­ceed. The finan­cial com­mit­ments must be fully understood.

Transparency – The brand man­agers and the roast­ers must be will­ing to share infor­ma­tion, because sim­ply pro­vid­ing insight and the details of a busi­ness may not be a set pol­icy. Sharing busi­ness details helps to build a stronger rela­tion­ship and will help your coun­ter­part make deci­sions that ben­e­fit the business.

Contingency – a shared busi­ness plan should be in place to address unfore­seen dis­rup­tions. Knowing that each side of the busi­ness is pre­pared for any even­tu­al­ity builds con­fi­dence in the pri­vate label rela­tion­ship. Working together to develop and imple­ment con­tin­gency plans will take the stress out of the unforeseen.

Specifications – Be clear regard­ing cof­fee prod­uct spec­i­fi­ca­tions, own­er­ship, and who has the author­ity to change them. Establish writ­ten stan­dards to be mea­sured against, includ­ing prod­uct spec­i­fi­ca­tions, inven­tory lev­els, deliv­ery times, and response time for issue and complaints.

Verification – Verify adher­ence to prod­uct spec­i­fi­ca­tions on a reg­u­larly sched­uled basis through qual­ity con­trol tests by the roaster and the brand, includ­ing annual process con­trol audits. Critical issues that affect con­sumer expe­ri­ences such as changes in taste and aroma should be sched­uled based on the prod­uct sales pri­or­ity, pro­duc­tion sched­ule, and level of qual­ity or sales risk. Compliance is not a one-time event dur­ing the RFP sub­mis­sion. Establish a sched­ule to ver­ify the details of the busi­ness together. Critical issues such as cof­fee qual­ity and bench­mark­ing ver­sus stan­dards must be val­i­dated on a reg­u­lar basis by an inde­pen­dent lab­o­ra­tory to avoid bias cre­ated by busi­ness interests.

Problem solv­ing – prob­lems will come up; both busi­nesses should expect to be sur­prised. What sep­a­rates the good com­pa­nies from the great com­pa­nies is not the amount of prob­lems or types of issues, but how each responds and how the prob­lem is solved. Finding com­pro­mise, seek­ing mutu­ally ben­e­fi­cial solu­tions, work­ing together to find the win-win solu­tion, or absorb­ing the loss for future gains is the best method for build­ing and main­tain­ing a pos­i­tive pri­vate label relationship.

Relationship – treat your coun­ter­part as a team mem­ber in your busi­ness. Together you will suc­ceed or sep­a­rated you will fail. Roasters should include the pri­vate label brand man­agers as part of their sales and mar­ket­ing team; con­versely, the pri­vate label brand should con­sider their cof­fee roast­ers as part of the company’s own sup­ply chain. Only when both busi­ness place equal value to the rela­tion­ship and equally sup­port the busi­ness together, will both com­pa­nies begin to build long term pri­vate label success.

Operationally speak­ing, pri­vate label is a great way to uti­lize avail­able roast­ing and pack­ag­ing capac­ity. Eliminating down­time in man­u­fac­tur­ing and find­ing new busi­ness to keep staff mem­bers busy will help spread fixed costs across a larger quan­tity of prod­uct. The addi­tion of pri­vate label busi­ness may be the cat­a­lyst for adding a sec­ond shift or pro­vid­ing the resources for equip­ment upgrades or expan­sion. Running only first shift Monday through Friday uti­lizes only a frac­tion of the avail­able man­u­fac­tur­ing resources for the week. Roasters must pay close atten­tion to capac­ity and capa­bil­i­ties when mak­ing pri­vate label busi­ness pro­pos­als. Shorter pro­duc­tion runs and reg­u­lar changes in pack­ag­ing mate­r­ial will reduce the pro­duc­tiv­ity of the plant. Financial econ­omy of scale can be real­ized for pur­chas­ing and through­put when exist­ing green cof­fee inven­to­ries are able to be used rather than dupli­cat­ing inventories.

Private label brands gen­er­ally pre­fer the con­ve­nience of one-stop shop­ping. Bundling both branded and pri­vate label items together, along with acces­sories, etc. will increase the brand cat­e­gory man­agers effi­ciency and reduce logis­tics costs. Building an econ­omy of scale with sup­pli­ers helps brands reduce costs by reduc­ing redun­dancy. Private label brands must pay close atten­tion to cus­tomer ser­vice issues, inven­tory lev­els and prod­uct qual­ity to avoid over-supply through dis­tri­b­u­tion. Private label brands are appeal­ing to retail­ers and other stores because the lower costs of goods equate to higher prof­itabil­ity when mer­chan­dis­ing costs are excluded.

Open com­mu­ni­ca­tion builds con­fi­dence, con­fi­dence devel­ops trust, trust cre­ates loy­alty. Privately label loy­alty is crit­i­cal to long-term busi­ness success.

Spencer Turer is vice pres­i­dent of Coffee Analysts in Burlington, Vermont. Spencer can be reached at

Coffee Service Corner

Categories: 2015, MayTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

An Interview with DSS’ Chris Goade

I have had the plea­sure of work­ing with Chris Goade in var­i­ous roles for the two of us both at DS Services of America and Standard Coffee Service Company. Having worked with many sales exec­u­tives as a seller and a buyer, I have expe­ri­enced a full gamut of skill lev­els, style, sub­stance and pre­pared­ness. I rec­og­nized early on that Chris had a unique abil­ity to both sell and man­age peo­ple and processes quite proficiently.

While most indi­vid­ual sales skills and tech­niques are trans­ferrable to a degree, sell­ing in Coffee Service has its own unique set of behav­iors in the sales process that affect the suc­cess rate of the sales per­son and sales man­ager. I had the oppor­tu­nity recently to chat with Chris about his expe­ri­ences and views regard­ing these topics.

KS Chris, in your career as an oper­a­tor you have suc­cess­fully led and man­aged as many as 100 man­agers and sales per­sons at a time. Everything begins with the tal­ent pool, right? Is there a “sil­ver bul­let” in the hir­ing process that has helped you recruit, on-board and retain the best candidates?

CG Silver bul­let? No, there’s no magic to find­ing and retain­ing tal­ent, but we’ve worked hard over the years to find things that stream­line the process as much as pos­si­ble. First, we have pro­filed our most suc­cess­ful sales folks and used those pro­files as pre-employment screens; this has allowed us to find can­di­dates that are most likely to suc­ceed in our sell­ing envi­ron­ment. Next, our sales man­agers have used cross-functional teams in the inter­view­ing process to gar­ner per­spec­tive from all sides of our busi­ness. Once we hire, the onboard­ing and train­ing process is crit­i­cal to set­ting up suc­cess for new asso­ciates. The process is ever-evolving and we will never be exact, but using these early-stage processes can have a pos­i­tive impact on your tal­ent acquisition.

KSWith a large group of man­agers and asso­ciates, can you give our read­ers insight on how you approach the Coffee Service sales process? Or is the approach the same regard­less of the size of the sales force?

CG The size of the sales force has lit­tle to do with sales process, although hav­ing a large group has its advan­tages and dis­ad­van­tages at times. On the plus side, we can be extremely respon­sive to mar­ket changes and oppor­tu­ni­ties. Leveraging more pro­fes­sion­als can also glean more and bet­ter sell­ing tac­tics for the entire group. On the other side of the equa­tion, a smaller group more eas­ily yields con­sis­tency in process and performance.

The process itself is sequen­tial, begin­ning with build­ing the foun­da­tion of a mean­ing­ful rela­tion­ship and avoid­ing the temp­ta­tion of a quick close with a low price moti­vat­ing decision-making. My expe­ri­ence is that if you sell on price, you will lose the account on price.

KS In the Coffee Service indus­try, some oper­a­tors ser­vice only tra­di­tional cof­fee ser­vice accounts while oth­ers expand into other classes of trade. Can or should oper­a­tors go beyond the indus­try lines of def­i­n­i­tion and what are some of the upsides or downsides?

CG I believe the answer is dif­fer­ent for indi­vid­ual oper­a­tors. The fac­tors to con­sider are:

• Are your sales team mem­bers, or can they become, experts in sell­ing to these classes of trade?

• Does your sup­port team have the oper­a­tional abil­ity to exe­cute against these new cus­tomers? Often what looks like oppor­tu­nity will actu­ally adversely affect your new and cur­rent busi­ness negatively.

If the answer to these ques­tions is pos­i­tive and the oppor­tu­nity is a good fit, then you can build your sales and mar­ket­ing plan dili­gently and estab­lish the pace of your expan­sion in a man­ner that does not out­strip your abil­ity to execute.

KS Besides class of trade con­sid­er­a­tions, Coffee Service oper­a­tors might also be in the bot­tled water and fil­tra­tion busi­ness as DS Services is, or in the Vending and Micro Market busi­ness. Can the sell­ing process be largely the same for all categories?

CG I think the process is the same, but there are nuances to each of these ser­vices and the cus­tomers that are inter­ested in them. I have found that the sell­ing process is very sim­i­lar, but get­ting sales asso­ciates to rec­og­nize the moti­va­tions of cus­tomers and being com­plete experts on the ser­vices they are sell­ing is the key to success.

KS What changes and trends are you see­ing now that might affect future menus or sell­ing processes?

CG Menus that con­tinue to expand vary with the intro­duc­tion of count­less new items from roast­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers. I believe most oper­a­tors need to be able to respond quickly to new items and trends but also man­age their menus so you do not see dimin­ish­ing returns on inven­tory turns and the dreaded out-of-date conun­drum.  I think there is a del­i­cate bal­ance to be real­ized. I like the “keep it sim­ple” approach where possible.

As for sell­ing trends, it is more impor­tant than ever to have the proper plans and tac­tics for prospect­ing for new cus­tomers. As con­sumers become more edu­cated and busi­nesses look for more com­plex ser­vices and prod­uct offer­ings, we have to change our busi­ness build­ing approach.

KS Chris, thank you again for tak­ing the time to share your valu­able insights with our read­ers. I am hope­ful that we can recon­nect soon and develop another arti­cle for our read­ers. Continued suc­cess to you and your team.

As I wrap up this arti­cle this Sunday morn­ing I have just returned from the NAMA One Show in Las Vegas. I took the oppor­tu­nity at the show to par­tic­i­pate on an excit­ing panel that explored spe­cialty bev­er­age trends in Coffee Service. I also had taken time to inter­act with many of my fel­low oper­a­tors. In the next Coffee Service Corner arti­cle, I will share some of the excit­ing things from the One Show.

by Ken Shea

Coffee Beyond the Beverage

Categories: 2015, MayTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

Crédito Cintia Duarte - Vanessa F Vilela -  Kapeh DirectorAre you against cel­lulite, wrin­kles and neg­a­tive effects of UV rays? Have some cof­fee!  A cup of Joe goes way beyond brew­ing sta­tions, restau­rants and mugs ter­ri­tory. In fact, cof­fee invaded your beauty prod­ucts with­out you notic­ing. Green beans, roasted beans and ground beans were taken to lab­o­ra­to­ries to be stud­ied and an entirely new world of ben­e­fits was dis­cov­ered. Coffee is rich in antiox­i­dants, flavonoids and chloro­genic acids which are indi­cated to elim­i­nate free rad­i­cals. Kudos go to Brazil’s cos­metic indus­try for rec­og­niz­ing the pow­er­ful ben­e­fits of cof­fee in beauty prod­ucts. In fact, 2014 sales topped 3.285 bil­lion dol­lars and has enjoyed an 11% growth in spite of polit­i­cal and eco­nomic crises in Brazil.

Sun blocks, sham­poos, cream mois­tur­iz­ers, per­fumes, gels, deodor­ants, soaps, exfo­li­at­ing gels, anti-aging creams with cof­fee as ingre­di­ent are already a real­ity. According to the huge Brazilian cos­metic com­pany NATURA, green cof­fee extract is “a com­po­nent of some prod­ucts in NATURA Chronos edi­tion (anti-aging) and it is also used as an emol­lient in SR N shav­ing cream.” Known as a huge exporter of cos­metic prod­ucts with Brazilian ingre­di­ents, NATURA car­ries sev­eral items with cof­fee in their com­po­si­tion, and has been doing so for years. Curiously, they list the grains just as an ingre­di­ent and not as a big star of their portfolio.

Even with NATURA’s minus­cule dis­clo­sure with cof­fee, the cof­fee mar­ket began an awak­en­ing process and started focus­ing on this busi­ness oppor­tu­nity. The Coöperative Cooxupé, located in the south of Minas Gerais state, devel­oped an oil that serves as the basis for the cos­met­ics indus­try in the region. This mois­tur­izer, emol­lient, antiox­i­dant, anti-inflammatory and regen­er­a­tive oil also pro­tects the skin against UVB rays, pre­vents pho­toag­ing and has heal­ing prop­er­ties and ben­e­fi­cial vit­a­mins. The same oil is sold to Attrato, a local com­pany that car­ries a line of four­teen dif­fer­ent cos­metic products.

Credito Cintia Institucional 01The fact that it can improve the appear­ance of cel­lulite, give shine and soft­ness to hair and help in the treat­ment against hair loss is well known. Its use, how­ever, is lim­ited so far to the green cof­fee oil extract. The Kapeh Company went against the odds and inno­vated the entire cos­metic chain based on cof­fee. Owned by Vanessa Vilela, the enter­prise aims to use every­thing that cof­fee can pro­vide: cof­fee flow­ers to develop per­fumes, cof­fee peel as exfo­liant and caf­feine to com­bat cel­lulite and reduce mea­sure­ment. “Innovation is the suc­cess secret. Kapeh com­bined tech­nol­ogy to dis­cover what cof­fee can offer us, always in a sus­tain­able way. The total use of cof­fee – flower, plant, grains – help us to make more prod­ucts with fewer raw mate­ri­als,” explains Vanessa.

Considering that there was lit­tle research about cof­fee uses in the cos­metic indus­try, the com­pany took three years to pio­neer stud­ies and tests. Allied to the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), located in Minas Gerais state, the first Kapeh prod­ucts were devel­oped seven years ago. In an exclu­sive inter­view for Coffee Talk, the busi­ness­woman with a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal back­ground revealed that the main goal since the begin­ning was total use of cof­fee in her prod­ucts. Thus, all bio­mass from the pro­duc­tion is used.

Vanessa turned two pas­sions – cof­fee and cos­met­ics – into a mil­lion dol­lar busi­ness. The chain grew from just a few prod­ucts to a port­fo­lio of more than 100 items with 200 sales points in 18 Brazilian states, all made with UTZ cer­ti­fied cof­fee pro­duced from her farms. “I was born and I still live in the biggest cof­fee region in the world, in the city of Três Pontas, Minas Gerais. And, I am proud to say that we grew 300% in the last five years and are prepar­ing to con­quer new mar­kets abroad.” Exports to Portugal and Holland have started and Europe and the United States are slated for 2015. Vanessa says that the biggest chal­lenge so far is to show­case her dis­cov­er­ies in a mar­ket that is dom­i­nated by huge com­pa­nies. “After try­ing the prod­uct, the con­sumer falls in love with it. For this rea­son I am look­ing for busi­ness part­ners and dis­trib­u­tors in America and Europe now.”

With that, the biggest cof­fee pro­ducer in the world is ready to export tech­nol­ogy and prod­ucts made by green and roasted grains around the globe. Very soon, the solu­tion to the consumer’s prob­lem for dry skin, dam­aged hair and wrin­kles will be COFFEE. So… if you are feel­ing ugly, why not try some coffee?

by Kellinha Stein

Did you know that…

• Coffee flow­ers are used to develop perfumes.

• The high con­cen­tra­tion of caf­feine (sub­stance that stim­u­lates fat burn) is used to reduce body mea­sures and elim­i­nates cellulite.

• Coffee peels have exfo­li­at­ing effects.

• Coffee extract is used as UV rays pro­tec­tion, and is already in sev­eral sun blocks composition.

The View

Categories: 2015, AprilTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Author:

This month Seattle will host poten­tially the largest gath­er­ing of cof­fee pro­fes­sion­als in North America ever. The Specialty Coffee Association of America “Event” boasts 10,000+ par­tic­i­pants from 72 coun­tries, 50+ hours of lec­tures given by close to 100 pre­sen­ters, 124 Skill Building Workshop hours includ­ing 41 offer­ing Certificate Credits, and a mul­ti­tude of spe­cial events, com­pe­ti­tions, and net­work­ing opportunities.

To be blunt, you will miss some­thing impor­tant dur­ing this event. It is 100% guar­an­teed. Though you may pos­sess great pri­or­i­ti­za­tion skills, make a list of all poten­tial activ­i­ties and meet­ings, iden­tify which are urgent vs. impor­tant, be flex­i­ble and adapt­able, and even know when to cut, there are sim­ply too many oppor­tu­ni­ties to take advan­tage of all of them.  I know I find this incred­i­bly frus­trat­ing and thus am really par­tic­u­lar about mak­ing sure every activ­ity has max­i­mum poten­tial for mul­ti­ple objec­tives. That is way I love the Charity Scavenger Hunt! It is designed to cre­ate last­ing rela­tion­ships and mem­o­ries great for busi­ness, AND give back to our amaz­ing indus­try at the same time. Please check out our web page on the event and see if you can be a part of this!

AND another thing not to be missed!

If you are inter­ested in pur­chas­ing extra­or­di­nary green cof­fee with a great story, that guar­an­tees to change lives then you need to mark April 23rd on your cal­en­dar for the Cup of Excellence online auc­tion. Astrid Medina, 38, is a woman who finds time for every­thing, includ­ing tak­ing care of her fam­ily and pro­duc­ing excep­tional cof­fee. In the last 2015 Cup of Excellence com­pe­ti­tion, her cof­fee, which the cup­pers described as hav­ing exotic attrib­utes, came in first place with a score of 90.2 points.

Ms. Medina was enthu­si­as­tic, “This is an amaz­ing accom­plish­ment. Thank God we won. Coffee is won­der­ful and we mustn’t let it go to waste. This achieve­ment trans­lates into a bet­ter future for Gaitana and for Planadas (her hometown).

We women are bound­less and beau­ti­ful. Although being a cof­fee grower is chal­leng­ing, it’s a won­der­ful dream. I only grow my cof­fee based on good prac­tices.” Astrid specif­i­cally thanked the FNC’s Extension Service for the per­ma­nent sup­port it pro­vides to cof­fee growers.

In regard to the auc­tion on April 23, Astrid knows that the qual­ity pre­mium that the high­est bid­der will pay for her cof­fee will trans­late into wel­fare for her entire fam­ily, her employ­ees, and pro­duc­tive improve­ments on the farm. “I will invest it in improv­ing our house, pro­vid­ing bet­ter liv­ing con­di­tions for our farm man­ager, our employ­ees, expand­ing the “ben­e­fi­ci­adero” (post-harvest pro­cess­ing facil­i­ties), because we think about grow­ing more cof­fee in the future, hav­ing bet­ter tech­nol­ogy, improv­ing every­thing,” she says.

Astrid Medina: a mother, a wife, and a producer of an exceptional coffee in Planadas, Tolima

Astrid Medina: a mother, a wife, and a pro­ducer of an excep­tional cof­fee in Planadas, Tolima

Thanks to the farm, her eldest daugh­ter has already started study­ing envi­ron­men­tal engi­neer­ing in Bogota and she will be able to con­tinue to pur­sue her career. Coffee has allowed Astrid to keep her fam­ily together and help each other. “There is strength in num­bers. There have been ups and downs. We have already been work­ing nine years on this farm. There have been times of low prices in which one wants to give many things to the employ­ees and one can­not, but we keep going on hope,” she ends.

This com­pe­ti­tion is part of the FNC’s dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, value added and posi­tion­ing strat­egy and orga­nized in con­junc­tion with the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, which designs and imple­ments its rules and stan­dards. The 31 lots that received more than 85 points on the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) scale will par­tic­i­pate in a real-time online auc­tion and buy­ers from all around the globe will have the chance to bid for the best Colombian cof­fees. The auc­tion can be fol­lowed at

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