For us, it all starts at the origins of coffee. This is our primary motivation, our “why”, and why we started Silo. Take, for example, the Boquette region in Panama. This is a mountainous area known for beautiful weather and some of the world’s best coffee. Indigenous people from around the region (you can read about our work to provide clean water for the Ngobe-Bugle people here) migrate to these farms during harvest season to work harvesting coffee. We care about these harvesters, desiring that they have access to clean water in their communities, and are paid fairly for their hard work and incredible coffee. This is the foundational component of the “village” of the coffee industry, and it’s the one that all other pieces need to value as well.
Phase 2: Importers
After coffee is harvested and processed at a farm, it needs to be sold and shipped out. Only a small portion of the coffee will be sold in the country of origin. This is where the importers come in. It takes a particular set of skills (not those of Liam Neeson) to work out the logistics of importing and exporting, and so this is done by folks who specialize in this piece of the puzzle. Roasters sometimes directly import, but more often purchase coffees through importers they’ve developed relationships with. There’s a growing number of importers in the industry who desire to see coffee farmers succeed as well, and reflect that in their pricing models.
Phase 3: Roasters
What most roasters are looking to purchase is green coffee. While sometimes coffee can be roasted at origin and then imported, this is not ideal, as coffee is able to retain its freshness overtime if it stays green. In other words, coffee tastes freshest when you drink it as close to the roast date as you can. Our coffee is roasted by Blueprint Coffee and we love that they pull us alongside their importing process, allowing us to see all these pieces of the puzzle transparently, ensuring our mission of quality and fairness is realized on all levels. We work with Blueprint to choose a coffee that we know you’ll love, and that also meets these goals.
Phase 4: Where Silo Fits In
We found it difficult to find a coffee that not only tasted great, but that we were confident came from a place of equity, and truly gave back to make the world a better place. It’s our hope that we can provide this for you easily in Silo Coffee + Goods. We believe it should be an easy choice for consumers to purchase products that they know are great quality and great for the people behind the production of that product. You can be confident with Silo that 10% of our profits go back to funding clean water projects in coffee farming regions. Our primary purpose is to give individuals like you (as well as larger organizations and businesses) a way to easily participate in this “village” model of promoting change in the coffee industry.
As consumers, you have the power to vote with your every purchase - your voice matters to make a difference in the coffee industry. Together, let’s make coffee more than just a commodity.”
So, how will you vote today?