The vast majority of specialty coffee is produced in developing countries. Global market forces can drive coffee prices so low that the cost of production often exceeds the price farmers are offered for their beans.
With this in mind Commonfolk Coffee Company established 'The Cup That Counts' an initiative focused on supporting a sustainable specialty coffee industry.
In 2014 we helped establish Zukuka Bora Coffee Company - a collective that works directly alongside small scale coffee farmers on Mt Elgon, Uganda. Zukuka Bora helped fund training, seedlings, equipment and infrastructure for these farmers. As a collective they can increase their capacity to produce and export the highest quality coffee, and get paid fairly to do so.
In 2017 the first ever harvest of Zukuka Bora coffee was exported to Commonfolk. We paid the farmers significantly higher than market price and ensured that a bonus could be paid during the dry season.
We're already seeing wholesale change in the communities involved in the Zukuka Bora collective. Hope is returning to Mt Elgon and it's being ushered in one cup of coffee at a time!
Commonfolk and The Cup That Counts will continue to equip farmers with the skills and networks required to develop their own successful enterprises.
In 2017 'The Cup That Counts' also turned its attention to the most vulnerable in our local community. We have partnered with Tanti Park Social Enterprises to establish a youth training cafe called HomeGround.
The Mornington Peninsula has one of the highest youth unemployment figures in Australia and the local hospitality sector currently has over 200 unfilled full-time positions. HomeGround will invest in bridging both these statistics while also providing a healthy and affordable coffee and food, and creating a community hub in one of our poorest communities.
If you are interested in supporting our work with The Cup That Counts the best thing you can do is to pop into Commonfolk and purchase a cup of our coffee. 20c from every cup we sell goes straight towards our partnerships.
If you're interested in purchasing Zukuka Bora's coffee (green or roasted) don't hesitate to get in touch. Or if you'd like to check out the work HomeGround is doing drop in to their Tanti Park cafe. Otherwise head down to any cafe serving Commonfolk and taste it for yourself.