High in the Colombian Andes, surrounded by lush forests and some of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, the magical mix of rain, sun, air and soil, and above all, the caring hands of coffee growing families that have been passing the knowledge for generations, creates some of the best coffees in the world: bountiful aromas, playful sweetness and acidity...
For us at Green Wheel, it is here where the coffee cycle begins, and where it ends….
We want to offer you the best quality Colombian specialty coffees we can. QUALITY is a BIG word, and for us at Green Wheel it encompasses more than great taste and freshness: it also means that we are committed to improving the lives and well being of all of the players in the chain, from the producers themselves, the communities in which they live in, the roaster, and of course to you, the end consumer.
To live up to this immense RESPONSIBILITY, we believe that it is imperative that we invest in EDUCATION. Education at all scales as well, from producer to consumer, and of course, including ourselves. From how to improve production practices to minimize environmental impact, reduce costs or enhance taste to how to store and prepare your coffee at home or in the office to get the best out of it, we are constantly thinking and doing something to improve this. As you can see, these three pillars which guide us are intimately related and interdependent, forming a virtuous circle, our Green Wheel, that will eventually benefit all of us. You drink better coffee, everyone else is happy.
We want to give back to the many men and women who with their hard work and caring allow us to offer you these exceptional coffee beans.
To begin with, we pay our partners well above market prices for their produce. Of course, these have to meet our rigorous quality criteria and as we mentioned above, we work as a team to share knowledge and strive to improve the result of each season. And just to give you an idea, we regularly pay up to 100% more than what our partners would get in the local market or cooperative and up to 20% more than Fair Trade prices.
We have also made a decision to roast locally, in Colombia, just a stone-throw away (well, maybe a bit further) from where the grains are collected. This has several benefits for the quality of the product as the grains don't have to crisscross the world from warehouse to warehouse, and very importantly, it allows us to keep a bigger part of the added value at origin. This also implies know-how and technology transfers that will help to improve the local coffee industry, better jobs and incomes.
So as you can see, we take care of our partners at the beginning of the process but we think we can do better, and in line with the above, we have decided to be part of the Pledge 1% movement, where we commit ourselves to donating 1% of our profits to good causes. What's more, we have made the decision to double this amount to 2%, and to begin with, have chosen to work on two fronts with resources assigned equally to each:
Acompañame a la Escuela: "Come along with me to school ! " is a Colombian non-profit that collects funds and donates bicycles and shoes to rural school children that normally have to walk long distances to get to school, in many occasions forcing them to quit school prematurely. Take a look at their accomplishments on their webpage (link). What better way to do good: green transportation to boost education!
Reforestation programs in our coffee sourcing regions: Colombia is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the planet. We want to keep it this way because we believe that by protecting biodiversity, we are really investing in our well being and that of future generations. You, me, the birds and the bees, rich or poor, we will all benefit. One of the best ways of protecting this biodiversity is by investing in reforestation in our area of influence. Not only will bio-diversity benefit, but we will certainly enjoy better coffee! We are currently working on finding the right partner to carry out this project and hope to have one really soon.