Roasters United has set itself a list of rules that work as minimum requirements and guidelines for all imports and cooperation with our producing partners.
- Small Farmers Groups
All coffees purchased through Roasters United are grown by coffee farmers that are organized under a collective structure. This can be a cooperative, association, or even company – provided that the organization clearly shows democratic practices in their governance. As the average farm size can vary between countries, Roasters United does not have a limit concerning the maximum farm size. Still, when evaluating new producer organizations, we will consider the average farm size. Roasters United does not buy from single farms or estates. If we buy microlots in addition to a regular import, these microlot sales also have to be managed by the producer organization.
- Minimum price
All contracts made by Roasters United guarantee a minimum price of $US 2.75 per lb FOB port of origin to our producing partners. The basis for all price calculations are usually differentials over an 30-day average of the “C” market. These differentials will be negotiated with each producing partner each year. In addition all contracts are set up as “opened contracts”, meaning that the price can be fixed at any time by the seller from the date we sign the contracts until the first day of the shipping month. With these mechanisms we can help the producers limit the risk of sudden market movements and above all guarantee a fair price in times of a low coffee market.
Depending on the needs of our producer organizations, Roasters United will offer a interest-free prefinancing of the contracted coffee of usually 60 % of the total sales price. Thereby we can help the organizations with a liquidity improvement especially during harvest time.
- Early commitment
In order to allow our producing partners to get a good sense of the final volume they can ship, each member of Roasters United commits to a quantity of bags needed early in the season – usually even before harvest begins in the respective country.
- Long term relationships
All the relationships that we initiate are long term relationships. We commit to follow the long term principle to have a concrete positive impact on our coffee growing partners’ communities. We buy from these communities year after year unless the partner does not fulfill our quality and organizational expectations anymore and we do not find a solution together.
- Organic coffees
We support the organic farming movement. However not all our partner coffees need to be organic certified from the beginning. Certification is expensive and does not necessarily encourage better prices. But healthy soil and environment brings along much more benefits.
- Cup quality
All our coffees are subjected to a strict quality management and control system with regular trainings within our group and with the producers. Annual visits to the cooperatives and cuppings with the farmers a mutual understanding of production and processing and the related effects on cup quality and allows for improvements. Our imported coffees need to score a minimum of 83 and mostly range between 83 and 86 SCAA points. All imported coffees would be cupped and need approval by our cupping team, both pre shipping and post landing.