Recently, one of our customers, Ubaldo Lopez, contacted us with a special request: “Hey, I’m headed to Costa Rica. Can I visit one of the farms you purchase coffee from?”
We have recounted in past blog posts the level of dedication and skill it takes to produce coffee of this calibre, and we’ve written of the high import we place on compensating our farmers well. But we haven’t touched on where exactly, once we (and you!) pay top dollar for our coffee, the money goes. The livelihood of our farmers and their employees is important to us, so on our last visit to Panama we talked to Wilford about the culture of Elida Estate, and more specifically an organization he has partnered with called Casa Esperanza.
Yemeni coffee exporters Mokhtar Alkhanshali and Andrew Nicholson couldn’t have known what would befall them on their voyage to Seattle for the SCAA Expo in April of last year. Upon attempting to leave Yemen’s capitol city of Sana’a, the two friends found themselves in the midst of an airstrike, unable to fly anywhere. Determined to present their coffees on the industry’s largest stage, Alkhanshali and Nicholson committed to drive seven hours to the city of Mokka, where they then convinced a fishing boat captain to tote them and 100 kilos of coffee across the Red Sea; all this, only to be detained by the Djibouti national coast guard. After Djibouti Port Authorities contacted the U.S. Embassy, the travelers received the go-ahead and were able to catch a 3 A.M. flight from Kenya to the U.S.