Farmer: Josefina Pascual Yescas
# of exportable bags: 1x69kg
Import & Export partner: Azahar Coffee

The price paid for this coffee ensures a LIVING WAGE for the farmer who produced it. (see below for details)

Farmgate price: 440MXN /kg of parchment (~35CAD). This amounts to ~40CAD /kg of green coffee.

The average local price was around 80MXN, and the Azahar minimum is around 120MXN.
We paid 5.5x more than local market price, and 3.5x above the Azahar minimum.

Price we paid for the landed coffee at our roastery: 58,90CAD /kg

This ~19CAD differential between the farmgate price and the landed coffee covers:

  • the transport from the remote mountains of the Sierra Norte in Oaxaca to Oaxaca city
  • Azahar on the ground work and export fees
  • Import, financing and storage fees
  • Shipping and customs from the USA to our roastery

Even though we only bought coffee from two farmers at a higher price (see our other lot from here) Josefina is part of a producing group call Aroma Juquileño. Community means everything to them and they will share their living income with their neighbours who, according to Josefina, are instrumental to her success.

Juquila Vijanos is a remote area in Oaxaca, and the fixed and labour costs to produce coffee there is much higher than in the rest of the region. As an example, to achieve the living income in the other areas Azahar is involved in in Mexico, we would have paid 40 to 50% less to achieve the same impact on the farmer’s livelihood.

Even though we think it’s a nice starting point to pay a living wage, we are still very far from what the Sustainable Coffee Buyer’s Guide would qualify as a prosperous income. To do so, we would need to pay a little more than twice what we paid.

Also worth mentioning that as a small business, we could’t have paid more than the minimum (legal) wage, or even below that, if our aim was to compete with the many coffee buyers who usually buy way cheaper coffees, a rampant problem in our industry.

When you buy this coffee, you are a part of something bigger than just a tasty cup of Joe: you help empower and give a living wage to an indigenous producing group whose remoteness was always a hurdle when it came to connecting with coffee buyers.

This is how we challenge a status quo that always benefits importers and roasters while neglecting the very people we depend on, the farmers.

The Sustainable Coffee Buyer’s guide 4 tiers explained:

  • poverty wage: the price paid for a coffee that would leave farmers living in poverty in that region
  • legal wage: farmers paid according to the minimum salary imposed by the government (often not respected in rural jobs)
  • living wage: a wage that allows the farmers to live well with all his family while also paying farm workers a living wage
  • prosperous wage: this is the same as the living income but with an extra 20% paid to the farmers family + another 20% paid for reinvestment in the farm

Those numbers were gathered by the non profit Sustainable Coffee Buyer's Guide while doing cost of production analysis and farmer interviews for the past 3 years, a truly groundbreaking and tedious endeavour.

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