Roasted Brown x The Pledge
If you’ve been following us and drinking our coffee over the past 6 years you'll have picked up one of our biggest values: to buy coffee that we love and do our best to make sure you do too.
On the surface it can look very much like it’s all about the coffee. But as much as we love coffee the truth is that it’s actually more about people and quality of life.
We started Roasted Brown as a coffee shop in Temple Bar in 2012. The main reason for it was people, community and being there for each other in a space that gathered around great coffee. When we moved out of running our own shops and into roasting and supplying to shops, this community shifted from our own coffee shop to the great community of coffee shop, restaurant, deli, and bakery owners and staff that we work with on a daily and weekly basis.
These people and their businesses play a crucial role in the livelihoods of another community within the supply chain that often gets overlooked or forgotten, but without whom we wouldn’t even have the lovely coffee comforts and rituals we do: the producers. Businesses that choose Roasted Brown as their coffee of choice are pretty well clued in that they are a part of a bigger story. In selling our coffee they are a part of something deeper and more important than a flat white or a cup of filter. They know they're working with a company doing its best to get as much money to the producers we buy from, so that their lives are enjoyable and sustainable.
To say that Roasted Brown pays its producers really well though is a lot more complicated than that. The coffee industry is complex and so is following the money. Because of this, it’s more accurate to say Roasted Brown is doing its absolute best to pay as much above the minimum required rate. We also diligently build pathways where we know more and more of the money we’re paying is getting to the producer.
This is a journey, and as much as we know how much effort and money we put into this we also know there is a long way to go. It can be discouraging at times. But when we look at it in terms of lives and smiles, or lack thereof, it’s a motivator to keep going, keep digging, keep making new ways.
As a small roastery we’ve always tried to have some sort of relationship with the producers at the other end of the coffee we use. We bought our first container of direct trade coffee back in 2016 and have worked hard to do this more and more. That being the case, the risk on us high, particularly as a smaller roaster. It’s hard to take the plunge and go 100 percent direct trade. But we are working on it - we hope some day in the next 2 or 3 years we’ll be able say that 100 percent of the coffee we buy is in direct relationship with a producer - that the producer is getting all our money.
In the meantime, a significant chunk of our coffee we buy direct. Where we can't, we work hard to have a relationship or even a visit with.
Our importers and exporters have played a huge role in leading us to where we are and so there is also something to be said for continuing to support them as much as we can. The way we see it is, everyone is trying to live, pay a mortgage, feed a child, progress in life, and we try our best to see all relationships along the chain this way. We’ve always committed to working with middle companies that we know we can trust to lead us in the right direction in terms of quality and also getting good money to producers. We owe a lot to these people for the great coffee and connections we have this far.