more isn't enough.
education, financial intelligence, sustainability are at the core of our platform creating long term impact.
Starting in 2018, Progeny Coffee, a California-based specialty coffee company, began building a supply chain that seeks to improve farmer livelihoods, incomes and the environment while ensuring supply of premium quality green coffee that the company could commercialize to corporates and consumers in the United States and Europe. Since inception, Progeny Coffee developed a direct-to-farmer supply chain in Colombia that sources specialty green coffee directly from smallholder farmers, reducing the number of steps in specialty coffee supply chain from 10+, to only 3. The team from Progeny Coffee offers farmers within its supply chain free technical support and transparent premium pricing based on product quality, as well as adherence to social and environmental requirements. In doing so, Progeny Coffee improves farmer incomes (both by paying for quality, as well as cutting out unnecessary middlemen), as well as social and environmental standards within its supply chain. Together these impacts seek to support dignified lives for farmers, their families, and their communities.
To maximize the impact of the Progeny Coffee model, the team from Progeny Coffee has launched Beyond Trade, which will expand the Progeny Coffee supply chain to connect smallholder farmers in Colombia directly to specialty coffee roasters in the United States and Europe. Beyond Trade incorporates new farmers to the pre-existing Progeny Coffee supply chain, including (i) certifying new farmers on Beyond Trade social and environmental standards, (ii) offering on-going free technical support to improve crop quality and crop yields, and (iii) paying a transparent premium price based on product quality and adherence to Beyond Trade standards. Beyond Trade’s goal is to expand the positive social and environmental impact of the Progeny Coffee model to more farmers in Colombia by connecting them to larger demand volumes offered by US-based and European roasters seeking premium, ethical green coffee.
Together we can restore dignity, opportunities and hope for coffee farmers.
The purpose of Beyond Trade is to promote the development of supply chains that ensure farmers earn a decent living with dignity, increase economic opportunities for farmers, ensuring that they receive a fair price for their work, promote labor standards that meet international standards, and promote sustainable environmental practices, while respecting local culture and realities.
Beyond Trade achieves this by connecting smallholder farmers that produce specialty grade specialty green coffee directly to roasters in the United States and Europe, offering all of the support and supply chain steps along the way.
a model based on realitIES and research
Beyond Trade was born following a realization by the Progeny Team, that current coffee market dynamics, including Fair Trade were unintentionally trapping smallholder farmers in poverty cycles. Essentially, programs such as Fair Trade establish an artificial fixed price ceiling, which is paid for compliance with certain social and environmental standards, rather than the quality of the actual coffee produced.
Given that the price ceiling is set at a minimal premium to commodity markets, smallholder coffee farmers are essentially competing in the commodity markets against industrial-scale coffee producers without any of the benefits of scale or mechanization.
Additionally, a lack of direct access to markets due to their rural location and limited resources has historically forced smallholder farmers to sell either at the Fair Trade price (to at least guarantee a minimum income) or via local middle-men and cooperatives, which hold all of the negotiating leverage to further push down prices.
As a result, smallholder farmers are trapped in a reality of high operating costs without the ability to earn a proper price premium for producing premium quality products, facilitating the poverty cycle for rural smallholder farmers and their communities.
we're currently working TO GET more than 180 colombian farmers certified.
The Beyond Trade program includes 4 key aspects.
First, the Beyond Trade team in Colombia works with its network of smallholder farmers to implement the social and environmental standards required for participation in the Beyond Trade program, thereby strengthening social and environmental practices within the communities where Beyond Trade operates.
These social and environmental standards have been specifically designed from the following base of international standards and then tailored to the local context and reality: Amfori BSCI Code of Conduct, Sello Libre de Trabajo Infantil del Ministerio de Trabajo y Promoción del Empleo de Perú, IFC Performance Standards, World Bank Environmental, Health and Safety guidelines, WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard, and Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.
Second, Beyond Trade agricultural technicians provide on-going technical support to the network of Beyond Trade certified farmers (i.e. those that meet the Beyond Trade standards) related to cultivation techniques and environmental best practices. These practices enable farmers to improve their crop quality (thereby earning a greater price premium) and crop yield, which together meaningfully increase farmer incomes.
The Beyond Trade technical support team has developed these practices at their own farms in Colombia over years of R&D. Best practices are designed such that they can be implemented by farmers using only the materials already available on their farm (i.e. no new purchases are needed).
Third, once the Beyond Trade smallholder farmer has achieved a minimum coffee grade of ~80 points, Beyond Trade purchases the farmer’s harvest at a previously published, premium price based 100% on the product quality. By going directly to the farmer with transparent premium pricing, and offering the technical support necessary to achieve sufficient crop quality, the Beyond Trade model removes the farmer from commodity markets, thereby using direct trade to break the poverty cycle for rural smallholder farmers in a sustainable manner by ensuring they are paid a fair price.
Fourth, the Progeny Coffee and Beyond Trade team are in the process of establishing a non-profit entity in the US, which will take donations from Progeny Coffee clients and a portion of the sales earned by the company to re-invest in social and environmental support programs for the communities in which Beyond Trade operates. These programs will be based entirely on the specifically expressed needs by these communities (education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc.).
unnecessary middle-men and overly priced certifications are trapping farmers in a poverty loop.