Transparent Trade Coffee (TTC) was
launched roughly one year ago to provide a forum where "specialty coffee
consumers and direct trade roasters come together to share information and
insights about the economic treatment of coffee growers."
A critical element of this program allows registered
roasters to provide specific information about how much growers are paid for their
In the last twelve months, 94 different coffees were listed by fifteen different roasters that sell coffee
in several countries:
Among these transparently-traded coffees, the
average price paid per green pound (FOB) was $3.87.
The TTC platform also lets us see how these
green prices compare with those paid on-line for the final roasted coffees. As
such, we know that an average of 22%
of the price paid by consumers of TTC coffees stays in the countries where the
coffees are grown.
As we argued in a previous TTC Insight, these averages should become
important benchmarks in price negotiations at the upper end of the specialty
coffee market. This is not to say that all, or even most, green coffees should
be sold at these levels. However, growers with exceptional coffees should be
aware of the prices that TTC roasters are paying for their direct trade coffees.
They should also be supported in their attempts to push green price negotiations
away from the universal emphasis on the "New York C" price, or the underlying cost
of production, and toward what end consumers will be paying for their coffees.
In this respect, we wonder how many current green
coffee negotiations are starting at $3.87, or at 22% of $22.20 (the average of
the current Specialty Coffee Retail Price Index). In many cases, this is a more reasonable starting point than
$1.26 (the New York C price on April 1, 2016), and one that would likely lead
to better price outcomes for coffee growers.
Transparent Trade Coffee