For Immediate Release: October 2, 2017
A Club That Promises To Skip The Middlemen, Help Customers Buy Direct
Boulder, CO: Coffee lovers have heard the terms direct trade, subscription box and coffee clubs. For the ones within the LOHAS network, these terms are saturated in ways that customers are now seeking for alternative solutions. Bean Voyage promises to provide the ideal alternative. Why depend on labels when you can buy your daily fix of caffeine directly from the people who produce your coffee?
Bean Voyage provides coffee lovers with an opportunity to skip the middlemen and buy directly from the producers of coffee. By empowering coffee producers to form regional collectives, training them to roast and cup their own coffee, and connecting these producers to the end consumers through an e-commerce platform, Bean Voyage works to shorten the supply chain between the consumers and producers of specialty coffee. However, there’s a second layer - Bean Voyage is a social enterprise that believes in intersectionalities within social movements. Therefore, not only do they ensure a 300% increase in the income of coffee producers through their innovative model, but they also focus on a specific, yet often times ignored group: women coffee producers. Bean Voyage’s primary beneficiary includes women coffee producers, who generally earn 39% less revenue from sales of coffee in comparison to their male counterparts for doing the equal amount of work.
With the launch of the ‘Join a Farm’ program, Bean Voyage aims to make coffee subscriptiuon even more personal between the consumers and producers. Till now, you could buy your coffee from the Bean Voyage platform and learn about the specific producer by receiving a postcard the explained the story of the producer who harvest and roasted your coffee. With the ‘Join a Farm’ program, Bean Voyage is taking things a step further - they are allowing customers to subscribe to a specific farm and their family. With subscription includes monthly shipment of freshly roasted coffee from the farms to the doorstep of the consumers, regular updates on the lives of the farmers, new products and any challenges that the farmers are facing, and an opportunity to provide direct feedback to the producers so they can make necessary improvements. This program will not only ensure the farmers a 300% increase in their income levels, but also ensure that the consumers, finally, know exactly where and from whom their coffee is being sourced, and have the opportunity to travel, meet and support the farm that they purchase from.
The founders of Bean Voyage are two young individuals who graduated with degrees in Economics and Politics. Sunghee Tark, from South Korea and Abhinav Khanal, from Nepal that had never imagined a life in the coffee industry. However, while conducting a leadership program for women in rural Costa Rica, they observed the overall discrepancy within the coffee industry, and the specific challenges that women were facing. That was an inspiration to the start of Bean Voyage, and ever since, they have dedicated their time and resources to ensuring the transparency and equity within an industry that promises social good through labels, but has time and again failed at ensuring justice to the producers. Sunghee said, “Our project is not just about quality coffee reaching the consumers, it’s about ensuring that every cent that consumers are paying for is accountable for, and that the farmers are the most important beneficiaries in the work of coffee trade”. Bean Voyage has supported four women coffee producers through their program since their launch in September 2016, and hope to expand their program to include 16 more farmers by the end of 2018, and gradually expand their model into other coffee farming communities in Central America over the next five years.
About Bean Voyage:
Bean Voyage democratizes the coffee trade for women producers with the goal of promoting gender equality and direct trade while improving the livelihoods of farming communities around the world. We achieve this by forming regional groups of women coffee producers, training them to process and roast their own coffee, and connecting them with consumers through an e-commerce platform. By shortening the supply chain between producers and consumers, we are able to ensure 300% higher income than what they earned from other intermediaries. We are motivated by the intersectionality between income and gender inequalities in rural communities and believe that an alternative system of trade is pivotal towards achieving sustainable development.