The Road of the Specialty Coffee

The ideal conditions for the evergreen shrub, the Coffee tree, to grow are found around the sunny Equatorial zone called "The Bean Belt". There exist numerous factors that can impact the quality and the taste of coffee, from environmental and genetic ones through the way the coffee cherries are being picked, processed, and stored afterwards. Coffee is grown in more than 53 countries since it is a highly enjoyed beverage and the second most-traded commodity in the world. The complex combination of factors that can affect its taste are the reasons why in some regions better quality coffee is produced. The iconic coffee region with the world`s best farmers who cultivate specialty coffee is by no surprise the birthplace of this beverage East Africa.

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Almacena is FairTrade certified

Almacena is FairTrade certified

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The effects of the Fair Trade system and the choice of new alternatives

You have probably heard or at least guess that coffee is one of the world`s most popular beverages as well as the second most traded commodity after petroleum. But did you know that on average according to the International Coffee Organization around 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed everyday by people all over the world? And when we spare a minute to think about all the hard work, efforts, time and resources that farmers put into growing and harvesting their production, we tend to neglect on major thing. This billion-dollar business that involves and connects people across continents, cultures and social classes unfortunately shows one huge downfall – the unfair treatment of small coffee producers.

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Challenges and Opportunities to improve the livelihoods of Smallholder Farmers

Challenges and Opportunities to improve the livelihoods of Smallholder Farmers To be a smallholder farmer undoubtedly means to be part of the driving force that provides the basis for economies in developing communities such as the East African. And no matter how prosperous this may sound and regardless of the huge state`s dependency on agriculture export for foreign currency, farmers` lives are filled with uncertainty and great challenges. Although coffee and tea are the main cash-crops in East Africa, smallholder farmers are illogically not benefiting at all from these relatively rich industries and high income earners.

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Traceability is not the goal but the means

Good coffee starts with good farming. It is a daunting task to constantly produce high quality coffee as a grower. You start with the seedlings. Taking care of the plants as your most precious asset – is the soil right, are they protected from sun, do they get enough moisture and food, etc. You wait for years for the seedlings to grow into fruit bearing trees. And even when you have good cherries, there is no assurance you get them to high quality green beans. How you sort the coffee, how you dry it, how you process, clean, sort, package and transport all matter. It is hard work. It rarely pays the efforts if you are an African grower and yet millions of smallholders depend on it to cover cash expenses like school fees or health insurance. At the end, more often than not your coffee ends up as a commodity. You name and story are gone, the farmers who contributed their cherries to the lot are unknown, you remain an anonymous producer with no idea where you coffee went. Almacena Platform supports growers overcome the structural barriers and knowledge gaps in existing supply chains and become visible to end buyers. We want hard work and dedication to be recognized and the producers be known and rewarded for bringing quality coffee on the market and taking care of their communities. Here is a glimpse of what buyers on Almacena receive as information on the coffee via our NFC tags and also on QR codes. We also track the community impact and make sure we reward and encourage sustainable and impactful producers with extra incentives and benefits. Every coffee has a story and you can be part of it.

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