March 31, 2022
It’s time to rip the bandaid off… our prices are going up.
We know, we know — it’s not the news you were hoping for, but hear us out. A price increase isn’t actually a bad thing. To be frank, coffee has always been hugely undervalued and while the global price increase is due to a “perfect storm” (we’ll get into that soon), when you think about the journey from crop to cup, it’s a wonder that flat whites cost less than a glass of wine, many of which come from grapes grown right here in Aotearoa.
All of the coffee we use is organic, which we pay a premium for and for good reason. It takes five years for a coffee plant to produce coffee cherries, then the farmers have to maintain and care for it for another 25–55 years. Most coffee is grown in remote places around the world where it’s often harvested and processed by hand. Those green beans then travel huge distances to be graded and bagged before being exported around the world. Some of the cooperatives we work with in Papua New Guinea can only be reached by boat — and they farm at 1000 — 2000 metres above sea level, so you can imagine the effort required to get those beans from the farms to our roastery.
Once we get our hands on the goods, the roastery team works their magic, carefully roasting different beans from different origins to emphasise key flavours and maintain consistency. They then taste every single batch as part of their strict quality control. Then it gets bagged (or bucketed) and sent around the country to the amazing retailers and hospitality businesses we partner with, where their professionally trained baristas turn all of that work into a carefully crafted cup of coffee, made exactly to your specs.
Phew! So why has the price gone up? The demand for coffee has increased; Covid-19 has caused massive disruptions all through the supply chain, climate change is causing crazy weather that’s wreaking havoc on crops and shipping prices are through the roof. So in short – more people want a smaller supply of coffee that is harder to transport around the world. No wonder the global price of coffee is at a decade-high.
“Coffee has seen the largest price rise of any commodity in 2021— a year that has consistently broken records across markets for energy and food, with a 91% increase in 1 year.” — Source
So with all that in mind, we don’t have much choice but to increase our prices. And that means a lot of your favourite cafés and restaurants will have to as well, so please be kind to them if they ask you to pay a little more. This pandemic has been rough on the hospitality industry and many amazing places need our collective support to keep their doors open.
Besides, when you buy Fairtrade coffee, you’re doing your bit to ensure those coffee farmers we spoke about earlier are getting a fair price for their hard work. Buying organic coffee means that the land is being looked after and the farmers aren’t having to deal with nasty chemicals (and neither do you!) — and when you buy climate neutral coffee, all the unavoidable carbon emissions are offset. All of that costs a little more, but we reckon it’s worth it. Hopefully you agree!
— The team at Kōkako
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