Our Sourcing Philosophy
It’s no secret that the coffee supply chain is a Male-dominated one. But did you know that at least 70% of the work that goes into producing coffee is carried out by women? Fact.
They are the pickers, sorters, the labourers. They are rarely the decision makers or the business owners and we seldom hear about the amazing hard work these women do. We think it’s about time things changed!
From day dot we have tried to tackle this issue head-on, making championing and celebrating these incredible women and their stories our core priority.
We do this by sourcing our coffees specifically and exclusively from women producers, seeking out those coffees that are creating positive change through the empowerment of women.
As we all know, when women are provided with the opportunity to be the boss, great things happen and we think that’s worth shouting about!
At GWGC we do things a little differently. We do not cup our coffees blindly and base them solely on what we taste in the cup. We first and foremost, seek out those changemakers we talked about up there. We believe that specialty coffee relies not only on women’s empowerment but on the investment in business relationships that in turn can help foster quality.
Why? We believe you can’t judge a coffee entirely on what’s in the cup. We want the whole picture of a coffee when we’re tasting it, including the story of the woman who worked her ass off to get the coffee on our table. We think the term quality should encompass the entire coffee, not just what you taste in the cup.
Of course we want to drink awesome coffee, and we want you to as well. What we want to avoid however, is cherry picking the top lots from producers year after year. We want to make an actual impact, we want to see specialty coffee survive for future generations. One way we can work towards this goal is by purchasing as much coffee as we can from each producer. Farmers make the majority of their income through larger lots of coffee rather than the few micro lots that are expensive and time consuming to produce. This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the odd experimental coffee, but when we do we try to buy from our current business partners.
We have a responsibility as a business to do good. We understand that you as a consumer want more from the businesses you support and we want to do you proud. Gone are the days when it was enough for a coffee company to simply offer ‘the best beans from around the world, roasted to perfection’ we’re so bored of hearing this statement, and we think you are as well. It’s not enough. The producers we work with deserve more, and so do you.
Our goal is to source and roast coffees from women whose stories deserve to be told, appreciated and rewarded!
We work with like-minded, small-scale importers, producer-roaster platforms, and directly with producers. We don’t rely on one method of finding coffees - that would be silly. We work with importers who offer transparency, traceability and who are fully committed to establishing long term partnerships with producers. We work with organisations and individuals who share our values and goals, who focus on the big picture.
It is crucial that female coffee producers are provided access to the specialty coffee market. Where possible, we help with this access through facilitating introductions to importers or other platforms.
A note on the word ‘relationship’ there’s a lot of talk about relationships in coffee. We build them, we foster them, we maintain them. We want to make a few things clear. The women we buy coffee from are business partners. We understand there are complex power issues going on in the coffee world and we think that should be acknowledged. We see the words ‘friends’ and ‘family’ being kicked around when discussing producers. We don’t doubt that business relationships can turn into friendships, but before we post pictures of our arms around our ‘new family’ we need to recognise the fact that we are the buyers, we are the ones with choices of who to buy from and for how much. That makes us wonder how much choice a producer has in this relationship.
We want to change this. We acknowledge our position of privilege in this industry and we don’t want to exploit it, but use it for positive change. All of the women we work with are business women and we want to treat them that way.
You won’t find your typical farmer photos here, no arms around our farmer buddies. We feel this way of marketing coffee is downright exploitative. We think all too often coffee producing countries are romanticised in photos with smiling faces picking ripe red cherries, or producers singing and dancing to welcome buyers to their homes. It abuses our ridiculous position of power in the industry.
Come taste the nectar of our collective hard work and you too can be an integral part of the movement that is, supporting women in coffee 💪🖤✊