This mindset of the fourth wave of coffee is our favourite at Road Coffee, as it deals with the focus and emphasis on sustainability within the coffee supply chain.
Paying coffee farmers a fair and livable wage has been a growing trend as we transition into the fourth wave of coffee, with programs such as BeyondFair and Road to 1006. Fair payments to farmers above their cost of goods to aid them in moving from poverty towards independence and freedom allow the farmers to purchase new agricultural equipment, send their children to school and improve their communities.
The growing global movement behind this idea has had a profoundly positive impact on both coffee farmers, who are empowered to improve their businesses and communities, and coffee drinkers, who are now enjoying high-quality coffee with each cup.
There is a higher demand for truly understanding where a product comes from, and this is only growing with the upcoming generation. Sustainability, being environmentally focused and real transparency are becoming non-negotiables as we move into a more globalized world.
Fourth wave coffee is a combination between amazing coffee products and intentional, impactful, worthwhile social consciousness practices. It relies on sourcing only the highest-quality beans in small batches for a truly elevated coffee experience.
Of course the coffee products themselves are only becoming a higher quality. The roasting techniques bring out distinct, complex flavours with aromas that take you to a magical place.
However, it is the socioeconomic impact of this wave that will define this new wave of the coffee industry. The fourth wave has a focus on the social and economic impact of the supply chain and is forward-thinking for the coffee farmers. Coffee farmers have always been at the bottom of a hierarchy within the supply chain.
In the fourth wave, the supply chain is shifting from a top-down orientation to more of an equal playing field for all participants. This isn’t going to change overnight, and it will take many companies choosing to take on more responsibility on sourcing their green coffee beans, and their involvement in the supply chain. But is it happening, and we are seeing shifts across the globe as coffee professionals are wanting to eliminate injustices and inefficiencies from within the supply chain.
This all plays a role in why we started our BeyondFair program and why we choose to partner with co-ops and coffee farmers through our micro-loan program.
From a farmer’s hand to your cup and invested back in their land. That’s why we do what we do. Our mission is to elevate coffee farmers from poverty into independence and freedom through access to resources, education and support from Road Coffee and our trusted relationships.
There are millions of coffee farmers around the world producing this beverage and is the second most consumed beverage globally, only behind water. We see Road Coffee as a way to bridge the gap between coffee farmers and coffee drinkers, with us it’s more than a cup of coffee.
Each time you choose Road Coffee, you are choosing to support a coffee farmer by paying them a truly fair price for their coffee. You are investing in them through our micro-loan program. We take proceeds from each bag we sell and invest that back into micro-loans, empowering coffee farmers by giving them access to equipment or capital to help them create a sustainable business.
Marketing has played an interesting role over the last few decades in coffee. Language around “fair trade”, “organic”, “sustainable”, among others, have become white noise, and don’t make the real impact they suggest. We are looking forward to a new wave of coffee professionals who want to elevate the playing field of the industry and create long-lasting relationships from farm to cup! We stand for equality within our industry and will continue to work towards sustainable solutions that lift coffee farmers out of poverty and into independence and freedom!
We work incredibly hard to bring you the highest-quality coffee that tastes amazing, have delightful aromas and stand out above the crowd. Our focus is to bring you that coffee, while making a difference in the lives of coffee farmers. That’s why we are More than A Cup of Coffee.
Author Alisha Esmail