2021 was a year of volatility, both for our business as we attempted to navigate Covid as well as for our growers and supply chain, which saw huge fluctuations and increases in the market price of green coffee. Here's what the numbers tell us:
Bluebeard paid an average of $3.58 on 47,633 lbs of coffee purchased in 2021, up 25 cents per lb from 2020 numbers. Single origin (not for blending) coffees accounted for 29k of this at an average of $4.05, for those keeping score. For perspective, coffee's commodity price (C Market) began 2021 at only $1.24 per lb and steadily climbed reach $2.35 in December. Many of these price increases will be best reflected on our 2022 green coffee numbers, as the majority of our coffees were contracted and booked prior to big early summer price increases.
Bluebeard is proud of these coffees, growers, source partners and our role in their continued sustainability. The value of these people and their exceptional coffees is reflected in our significant investment in their livelihoods.
Importantly, our listed price is the Ex-Warehouse (EXW) price, paid for from the point of entry warehouse in the US. You may also see Free on Board (FOB) price, the price of the coffee when delivered to the boat at the port of origin and ready to ship. As EXW covers nearly the entirety of our contracts and purchases, we utilize it. It's useful in understanding the full cost of a coffee once in lands at its port of consumption, it can tell you less about precisely how a farmer was paid. We recommend Red Fox's super informative series on Paying for Coffee: It's Complicated.
The manner in which our partners at source have remunerated farmers is a fascinating and complex subject, which we won't begin to address here, save to pass along that it varies widely and necessarily by country, community, processor/coop/community/farmer, and stage at which coffee is purchased, whether it be cherry, parchment, bagged and ready for export, etc.
Should you seek it, we would invite you to dive into the web sites of our import partners, who embody many best-in-industry practices in coffee, paying at the top of the market to farmers and communities in the interests of sustainability, living wages, sound environmental practices and value paid throughout the coffee chain.
Bluebeard Coffee Roasters