As part of our commitment to a sustainable coffee industry, Horizonte Coffee is proud to sign up to The Pledge, a common code for transparent reporting in green coffee buying.
What is The Pledge?
The Pledge is an online platform where an international group of coffee roasters report their green coffee buying practices in a transparent manner.
As well as other details of the purchase, the most important disclosure is the Free On Board (FOB) price paid for the green coffee.
FOB price refers to the remuneration that the coffee producer has received to produce the coffee and transport it to the point of exit from the country of origin.
FOB thus includes all costs attached to sourcing a particular coffee within its country of production. Any further costs such as transportation by sea, road or rail to the roastery, and all customs duties and taxes, are carried by the roaster on top of the FOB price.
Companies that sign The Pledge must disclose this required information about at least one of the coffees they sell.
Why do we need The Pledge?
After oil, coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity. Coffee is big business, but unfortunately not everyone in the supply chain is treated fairly. Coffee growers are often the big losers, working very hard for very little money.
By publishing the prices paid for green coffee, the ‘secrets’ of those who trade in green coffee – from the producers to the importers and roasters – suddenly become transparent. This in turns puts pressure on those who are not transparent and who for that reason are often not paying fair prices.
At Horizonte Coffee, we’d like to see more giving than taking in the coffee industry.
Certainly we want the best quality beans and we’re more than happy to pay a fair price, but for Horizonte it doesn’t stop there. We’re very proud to know most of our farmers personally. It might take a significant investment of time and financial resources, but we love getting to know our farmers, their families and the actual farms themselves and helping to re-invest into them.
Only after we’re convinced that the whole ‘package’ is right, are we happy to purchase the beans.
Horizonte believes in long-term reinvestment, which we think is only really sustainable if we enjoy a positive and personal relationship with our partners.
What are the criteria of The Pledge?
To sign up to The Pledge, only one coffee of a company’s entire range needs to meet the relevant criteria of The Pledge. This means that the FOB purchase price needs to be published in a transparent manner, and obviously should be verified as a fair price.
Horizonte Coffee regards these criteria as very even-handed – in fact, we’re surprised that more coffee companies haven’t yet signed up.
How transparent is Horizonte Coffee Roasters?
100% transparent! Every single one of our coffees meets the criteria of The Pledge. In other words, we always pay our farmers a fair price and are committed to communicating this in a transparent way. For us, it’s a matter of heartfelt responsibility.
So far, approximately 50 companies around the world have joined The Pledge. In Switzerland, apart from ourselves, Kafischmitte and Kaffeemacher have also signed up.
Considering the global reach of the coffee industry, there’s plenty of opportunity for more coffee companies to join The Pledge. Horizonte truly hopes that more roasters will sign up soon. (Link to our FOB report)