"Closing the Loop of Social Responsibility"
There is a great amount of coffee consumed by the United States and other nations. In recent years, a better quality coffee known as Specialty Grade Arabica has seen an increased demand. Electric City Roasting Company is one of only a very small group of micro-roasters in the United States that uses these high quality beans. Specialty Grade Arabica beans are of less than 10% of the coffee sold in the world but consumers demand the quality and willing to pay more for this exceptional coffee.
The supply side of these beans is very different. Coffee only grows between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn and at altitudes of 4000 to 6000 feet. In the countries that produce coffee, many farmers and workers live on less than two dollars a day. This meager sum falls below the poverty level defined by the United Nations Millennium Project to Eradicate Poverty. If these farmers produce the Specialty Grade Arabica, that coffee drinkers now demand, they will receive more funds thus helping to reduce poverty.
There are associations, such as Certified Fair Trade, that work with farms to help educate growers to produce this better quality coffee and to offer better education in general with the intent to sustain the coffee crops and lower poverty. Certified Fair Trade ensures that the price of green coffee exceeds the grower’s costs. We exceed their criteria by paying the farmer at least 25% above Fair Trade and leave direct traceability—coffee sold to our customers is direct from the farmer.
At Electric City Roasting, we can show the consumer where a bag or a cup of coffee is from as we purchase certain coffee direct from farms. We utilize the importer and exporters guarantee that of the price we pay for coffee, no less than 80% goes directly to the farm. We designate projects to help educate laborers by direct funds for a Panamanian child to attend school. We provide funds for specific projects at a designated school used by the children of the laborers in Costa Rica. We also give funds for coffee farming technology, such as certain shade trees in coffee farms in Guatemala.
At Electric City Roasting Company, we strive to trace every bag of coffee we purchase directly to the farms. We are committed to our goal of closing the loop; to make sure that every bag we buy and cup we sell helps the farmer, laborer and aid in education and reduction of poverty in the world.