Barrie House Committed to Exquisite Sustainable Coffee

Barrie House is #4 on the Fair Trade Partners list and has grown its Fair Trade coffee offering to 50% from 2015 to 2016.

The commitment to exquisite sustainable coffee is a considerable undertaking. Barrie House coffee procurement approach and resources are a triple path that forks out to include Direct Trade; Fair Trade Premium Projects and Fair Trade Organization Partnership.

CECANOR: San Miguel, Peru

I. Direct Trade

Finding special coffees from micro-lot farmers who have elevated the art of growing coffee is a labor of love for Barrie House. Leveraging an ever-growing network of seasoned exporters, procurement partners and specialty coffee contacts help connect with artisan coffee farmer’s with exceptionally different coffees. Discovering producers who tend to have difficulty finding appropriate distribution channels for their haute cafes is a worthy challenge.

Finding these producers and sharing their coffees is very exciting

    Finca Idealista sits next to a nature reserve, whose trees provide a natural air conditioner for their paca, caturra, bourbon, pache, and a few pacamara beans. The cool microclimate lengthens the coffee cherry maturity process, allowing beans more time to absorb natural sugars for a sweet, flavorful cup profile. In addition to washed coffee, they produce out-of-this-world naturals and honey process that need to be reserved because they sell out instantly.

    Before Direct Trade Finca Idealista were not receiving market value prices for their unique high quality product. Every single lot of their coffees are cupped then select only the highest-scoring ones for export and finding roasters with micro-lot producers take a fair amount of matching. Producers like Finica Idealista improve their standards of living by connecting their high-scoring coffee with gourmet roasters such as Barrie House. Successful matches enable them to invest back into their farms by installing solar panels, new processing equipment, expanding their farms and improving their own houses.

    Leyva Mancilla farms are based in and around the fishing village of Zihuatanejo. They are organized, motivated, and extremely proud of their coffee, which they drink daily and call ‘natural gold’. The community and coffee are singular and help define each other.

    Farmers box each tree to preserve top-soil and remark their coffees taste so good because “it is kissed by the Pacific mists”. Which is true; every morning a fog rises up the mountain to moisten the coffee trees even during the dry harvest season. It takes exceptional care to produce quality natural-processed coffees such as these.

These producers are committed and invest back in their farms by ensuring high-quality processing
Extra care is taken both before and after processing, to ensure that only the finest coffee is exported out of already a high-quality product. Both electronic light sensors and individuals pick out imperfections, ensuring crops reach customers and are a reflection of all the hard work involved in growing fantastic coffee.

CESMACH, Fair Trade Certified Coffee, Chiapas, Mexico

II. Barrie House Funded Fair Trade Premium Projects

Barrie House participates in Fair Trade programs for a number of reasons: to encourage farmers receive fair prices, procure coffee free of GMOs and hazardous chemicals, and disable child labor exploitation. Supporting producers this way encourages coffee farmers to continue growing coffee so quality coffee beans continue to be available in the future.

Customers support the program by purchasing Fair Trade Coffee which is the #1 category in Fair Trade. Every time Barrie House Fair Trade coffee is purchased a premium is collected and used for Fair Trade Development Premium Projects. Customers who have purchased fair trade coffee from Barrie House in the past have helped fund these specific Fair Trade Premium Projects.

Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union – Sidama, Ethiopia
The Sidama zone of Southern Ethiopia has excellent soil, ideal climate, and high elevation of 1,750-2,100 meters is perfect for Arabica coffee. They have become an origin recognized for their world-class specialty coffee production. SCFCU operates to develop links between producers and buyer, directly export members’ coffee to the international market, and facilitate access to finance harvests.

Farmers and workers then choose how to invest premiums based on their own local needs.

  • Invested in essential coffee production infrastructure such as roads and bridges. These investments enabled coop members to improve the speed of bringing their product to the washing stations. However, improved infrastructure also benefits the community at large through basic transportation capacity.
  • Established electricity infrastructure in member communities. Improve the livelihoods of members and their families, as well as minimizes deforestation as less firewood is needed.
  • Trained members on quality and productivity.
  • Purchased and renovated coffee processing machinery.

Koperasi Kopepi Ketiara – KETIARA, Indonesia
Coffee from Gayo Highlands of Sumatra, is cultivated at elevations between 900 and 1700 meters above sea level. The area’s soil is innately suitable for the production of Arabica coffee plants, which have grown in this region since 1908 and are now recognized globally for its rich flavor and strong body. KETIARA handles all aspects of coffee production until it is ready for export.

Ketiara members invested their premiums by

  • Distributing organic fertilizers to members, training and educating them on plant health and best practices for organic production and procuring machinery for the cupping lab.
  • Creating a fund to lend capital to members in need and serves to provide bonuses for workers.
  • Offsetting some of the costs associated with the cooperative promotions including media, online, and industry events, such as SCAA trade show.
  • Purchasing and distributing nutritional necessities such as rice for members particularly critical outside of the harvest season when there is less source of income.

Guaya’b Asociación Civil – GUAYA’B, Guatemala
This coffee is grown the Huehuetenango region of Guatemala. The sales made by Guaya’b have brought stability to the cooperative and have enabled members to meet their basic needs. With Fair Trade price, Guaya’b farmers have increased their own earnings and reinvested a portion of their profits into the community. As a result, the region’s economy is more stable and the rate of migration has decreased.

Invested premiums to

  • Produce 2,500 sacks of organic fertilizer, which was distributed to members, to strengthen their organic production. Barrie House was a partner sponsor for this project.
  • Minimize loss due to rust, voting to invest in a rust control brigade, a critical activity in a region hard hit by the coffee leaf disease.
  • Created a micro credit fund benefiting 98 families in order for GUAYA’B members to make the most of their coffee and honey production.
  • Invest in individuals by pay talented individuals who have make the cooperative strong and more efficient.

Learn more and follow

drying station 2drying stationprocessing station

III. Fair Trade Organization Partner

fairtrade_logo70 X 70 Products that bear the Fair Trade logo come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated. The organization trains disadvantaged communities how to use the free market to their advantage. Every product promises: fair prices, no GMOs, no hazardous chemicals, no child labor. Fair Trade producers earn fair and stable prices for their goods. Farming families can fight poverty through trade by keeping food on the table, children in school and families on their land.

Fair Trade Partners and Categories — There are 1,019 Fair Trade Partners of which Barrie House is #4 of Top 20. New categories are being introduced such as home goods and appeal, however, coffee is the leading category.

  • Coffee was the first fair trade product in 1998 and since then been the #1 purchased category from 13 categories.
  • In 2014 coffee far surpassed the other categories with sales of 167,696,833 pounds compared to Tea which was 2,243,356 pounds.
  • Coffee was also the largest category for premium payment to producer organizations in 2014 at $33.5 million and for every year prior.
  • Community Development Premiums in 2014, and import volumes were up about 12 million pounds over 2013.
  • 44 New coffee business partners joined Fair Trade USA in 2014.

Community Development premiums — Fair Trade Premiums are funds for community development generated from every sale of Fair Trade products. Communities vote and decide how their premiums will be spent.

  • Since launching Fair Trade Certification in 2004 farm workers have earned over $18 million in Community Development Premiums.
  • Mexico Fair Trade Produce was the growth leader. Farmers and workers earning $2.4 million in Premiums.
  • Used to improve wastewater disposal.
  • Workers are trained on safe food production that ultimately improves the quality of their goods.
  • Empowers women through opportunities for education.
  • Women have leadership roles & equal representation on workers committees.
  • Enables children to go to schools by paying for scholarships and school supplies.

Local grassroots campaigns — Fair Trade campaigns encourage communities to increase the availability of Fair Trade products.

Barrie House is a leader in Fair Trade Partnership and in the coffee category. It recognizes the importance of sustainability in this very personal industry and for coffee to be enjoyed in the future, coffee’s future growth needs to be ensured.