We believe strongly in business-based solutions to solve poverty's toughest problems—and the reality is that coffee is an industry in which the vast majority of its farmers live below the poverty line.
Many companies say they're doing something about that. But year after year, despite hopes of a better income through programs such as "fair" trade, the reality is that most coffee farmers continue to barely profit enough on their harvests to get by on.
Such a low income forces farmers to choose between taking care of their families or investing in their plantations, affecting their farm's long-term viability. As coffee drinkers, can't we do better?
We're dedicated to doing things differently. We're committed to putting farmers first when sourcing our coffee. We pay a 50% bonus on top of the market price farmers receive, which is as much as four times higher than "fair" trade.
When drinking coffee, we believe that the question, "Is your coffee 'fair trade?'" isn't good enough. Instead, we ask the following questions:
1. Who is the farmer that grew this coffee?
2. How much was he or she paid?
Why "Farmers First?"
Because the coffee trade isn't fair to small-scale farmers. Most earn less than $2,000 per year. That's why we pay them a 50% bonus, directly—4 times higher than "fair" trade.
By waking up each morning with a cup of Farmers First Coffee, you’re giving hard-working farmers an income that will change their lives. Ready to drink a better coffee?
In 2012, two idealistic young expats met at a brewery/lodge in the tropical forest of Honduras. One owned the lodge and the other was a volunteer English teacher in a nearby town.
The region they lived in, Lake Yojoa, is surrounded by coffee farms and is one of the most beautiful places on earth. But as time passed, each interaction they had with local coffee farmers only increased their suspicions: all was not well in the coffee industry. They soon grew to understand that most small-scale coffee farmers struggled to turn a profit on their annual harvest, even when they were a part of "fair" sourcing program.
This led to a real-world consequence: they were forced to choose between spending money on their families or their coffee farms.
In 2016, the two teamed up and decided it was time to pursue a dream they had been talking about for years: to provide a better income to coffee farmers. To do so, they decided they would need to cut through industry jargon and bring something simple to their customers: the name, the face, and the story of each coffee farmer that they partner with.
The story of coffee begins with the people behind it, and what do those people need most to build a better future for them and their families? A better income for their hard work.
Initial Supporters, Original Sponsors
We achieved our startup funding through a Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2017. 616 amazing people helped us make our dream a reality, and for that we are forever grateful.