‘Vega Coffee’ is a startup found by Rob Terenzi. In 2005 he went to Nicaragua to intern with women’s coffee cooperatives. At that particular time the women were earning around 70 cents a pound on their unroasted coffee beans, which were then being exported to the United States, where the beans were sold for $15 to $20 a pound. The huge difference made Terenzi stay there for two years and start a self sustaining business of roasting and selling the beans themselves to the neighboring towns.
To express Terenzi’s concern, he said. “If you look at a chart comparing the price that consumers are paying for a cup of coffee over the last five to seven years to how much farmers are earning, they are exactly inverse. Prices are going up and farmers are earning less. Where does the money go?” The truth is, the profitable amount reaches everyone else except the coffee farmer.
In order to empower the farmers in the field, ‘Vega Coffee’ was found. Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity. Many individual coffee farmers live from harvest to harvest season and have few alternative measures when a coffee harvest disappoints; thus leaving a farmer with his own problems to fight the resources and the his needs.
Vega Coffee takes a step further to end the farmers’ problems. The innovative startup uses fair trade prices as a minimum but gives the coffee growers an opportunity to earn the profits from roasting and packaging. The process of working they follow is, the company buys unroasted coffee beans from Nicaraguan coffee farmers and offers to pay the farmers to roast, grind and pack the beans in the preparation center. Consumers place their orders directly via Vega’s website and the same is soon delivered to their doorstep.
This effective approach by Vega Coffee is healthy for farmers as well as the consumers.
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