«PLEDGE» - THE POWER OF TRANSPARENCY.
"Good bye" price secrets!
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)
Giving back to move forward
All the way through our supply chain, from tree to cup, Horizonte Coffee Roasters strives to improve the quality of our work and our product.
For coffee lovers, that means you’re able to enjoy the best possible Horizonte coffee-drinking experience.
For our partners, it means working with Horizonte in our ongoing commitment to fair trade and sustainable business practices.
Through his songo.info cycling and education charity, Horizonte founder Christoph Sauser has seen first-hand how much of a positive impact it’s possible to make in a community. Established in 2008 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, this year the Songo academy celebrated a decade of helping township kids towards their dreams of a safer and more prosperous future.
At Horizonte, the idea of investing in our partners to create better coffee is a totally logical step. So when Sauser met coffee grower Gerardo Franco during a recent trip to Colombia, it was a topic that naturally came up in conversation.
Gerardo produces the most amazing espresso beans on his small farm La Fincha, located on a mountain ridge near the town of Anserma.
Gerardo, now 47 years old, has been growing coffee for more than 30 years. He currently cultivates approximately 8 000 coffee trees at an altitude of 1 860m, delivering an award-winning coffee with distinctively sweet and nutty chocolate undertones.
While Gerardo was explaining his farming methods to Sauser, it soon became apparent that having a post-harvesting facility on his own property would be a game-changer.
Gerardo shares a post-harvesting facility with the rest of his family on their nearby farm, which is a 10-minute walk away. This means that he has to shift his entire crop of cherries down the road for the duration of the pulping, cleaning and drying process (as well as walk back and forth between the two farms every day) and then carry everything back again once the beans are dry.
In collaboration with Siruma Coffee, our partners in Colombia, Horizonte has made a significant financial contribution to help Gerardo build a new post-harvesting facility on his own farm.
This isn’t a charity hand-out, it’s a hand up. Siruma and Gerardo himself will each match Horizonte’s contribution to this project.
Having his own post-harvesting facility will hugely improve Gerardo’s efficiency. As soon as they’re plucked from the trees, the cherries will be run through a manually operated de-pulper, with the beans dropping straight into the wash basins where they’ll be left to ferment for 16 hours, before going through a triple-wash process to remove the over-ripe beans known as floaters.
After attending a course run by Nespresso at his local cooperative, Gerardo has refined his fermentation methods but the age-old air-drying process remains. The beans are spread out on drying beds and – depending on the weather – are left to dry for a couple of weeks until the ideal moister level has been reached. (11%)
Once dry, Gerardo’s beans are transported to the cooperative, where they are then bagged and shipped to Horizonte Coffee Roasters in Switzerland.
As part of our dedication to fair trade and as an indication of how much we value the work of farmers like Gerardo, through our partners Siruma, Horizonte pays more than the market rate for all Siruma-sourced coffees.
If our mission is to develop, supply and enjoy outstanding coffee, it is only fair that our growers should also be rewarded for the excellence of their produce.
Horizonte will offer Gerardo Franco’s coffee as a single-estate espresso, and as a blend with carefully selected Ethiopian beans.
The plans for Gerardo’s post-harvesting facility have already been drawn up, and the installation should be complete by mid 2019.
.... and here it is the new post harvesting facility build next to Gerado’s family house. Together with the president of the local cooperative and Valentina von Siruma Kaffee, we organised a small opening with a nice lunch.