The ever-popular coffee company has done it again. Last Friday, Nov. 16, Stumptown Coffee set the record for the highest amount of money paid to a coffee farmer/producer in Bolivia
, coming in at $21.20 a pound.
Earlier this year, Stumptown set the record in Colombia, paying $19.20 per pound
, and also in Nicaragua, paying $47.06 per pound
That's per pound, folks. Most coffee farmers are paid between $1.80 and $3.00 per pound
, if that.
This year's pricey coffee was purchased through Cup of Excellence
(COE), a nonprofit program that rewards farmers for cup quality. Stumptown has been involved in the program since COE was founded in 2003. Every year, over 300 coffee farmers compete in an auction to see who has the best coffee. A week of taste testing
produces 20 winners, each of whom is rewarded for their efforts with payment significantly higher than the average coffee price.
Matt Lounsbury, Director of Operations for Stumptown Coffee, says the program is a way for the coffee company to build relationships with coffee farmers and “get the best coffee in the world.”
Lounsbury says the coffee is undoubtedly harder to market because of its higher price, but that customers seem excited about it nonetheless. His hope is that people will start thinking of coffee more like wine,
and pay more for quality.
Lounsbury says last Friday's purchase of Bolivian coffee is significant because “people don't really understand how much work it takes to produce a pound of coffee and how many people are involved. It makes a huge difference in these communities.
It sends a signal that much like wine, this coffee is worth it.”