This was one of our key questions when we travelled to Ethiopia and met the farmers.
“Before, we used to sell our coffee for 1.50 to 2 Birr but now we can sell it for 10 to 15 Birr”, said Kedir Aba Megal, one of the farmers of Bufeta Gibe, the cooperative that produces our coffee.
“Before” means before the farmers founded a cooperative, before the cooperative could buy a wet mill to process the coffee – and before they started selling to international buyers. So today, the farmers get around 10-15 Birr (around 50-70 USD cents) per kilogram of coffee cherries they deliver to the cooperative. The exact price depends on the international coffee price.
But it’s not fresh and red coffee cherries that we buy. The farmers depulp the cherries, wash the green beans and dry them. In the end, they get one kg of green coffee beans from around 8 kg of cherries.
For the harvest of 2015, Kedir got 10 Birr per kg cherries during harvest time and another 3 Birr per kg in July after the coffee was sold by the Limmuu Innaaraa Union. While the cooperative is responsible for the coffee production, the Union stores, sells, and ships the coffee. The fact that the price Kedir gets is split in two parts helps him a lot. Just imagine you would get all the money you earn during a year at the same day.
To be as transparent as possible, we now want to show you how much of the price you pay for a package we plan to use for what. We take a package of whole beans or ground coffee as an example. As we are standing at the very beginning of this adventure, some of these numbers are real numbers (like the price the farmer gets and the costs of processing the coffee in Ethiopia) and some of the numbers are only planned (like the investment in new products).
|What the farmer gets
|Community investment through fairtrade premium
|Social projects: support a child with each package
|Processing costs in Ethiopia: washing, stocking, inspection, inland transport by cooperative and union
|Transport to Switzerland, customs
|Roasting: roasting loss, manpower, energy, milling
|Packaging: coffee mailer, coffee box for new customers
|Salary, rent, amortization
|Marketing costs, distribution and administration
|Investment in new products and new sourcing countries
|The price you pay