Ever since starting Blossom, our mission has been clear: we want people to fall in love with speciality coffee and encourage them to be part of a movement that helps to protect it for future generations.
While we enjoy the incredible luxury of speciality coffee on a daily basis, the farmers responsible for producing these lots too often do not receive the necessary income to ensure financial stability for their businesses. In these instances, often the best case scenario is that farmers will start to cut corners on sustainable and quality-focused production, while in the worst case scenarios they will be driven out of the industry altogether and into more profitable crops.
We feel a responsibility to work in a way which ensures financial stability for the producers with whom we work, as it is only by increasing sustainability throughout the value chain that we believe speciality coffee production can be secured. We see transparency as absolutely central to this.
By publishing our data and openly communicating how much is being paid for our coffees, we hope to be part of a movement which normalises prioritising living incomes for producers and increases awareness for consumers, while in doing so distinguishing ourselves from those that use ‘transparency’ only as a marketing tool.
The idea to create The Pledge was developed during the transparent trade colloquium in Hamburg in 2018. As a group of likeminded professionals in the coffee supply chain, signatories of The Pledge feel that transparency should necessarily mean one thing: transparency of pricing in coffee negotiations.
“Companies that sign The Pledge agree to share a fixed set of variables when reporting on green coffee purchases. Together, we aim to create a common standard for transparency reporting that is applicable throughout the coffee world. By disclosing additional information like the name of the producer organisation, the lot size and the cup quality of the coffee, we add context to our transparency reports that makes them comparable and truly transparent.”
To sign The Pledge, a minimum of one coffee that we have bought must be considered transparent according to the agreed criteria. However, we are proud to be publishing data for 100% of coffees bought in 2021.
Read our 2021 Transparency Report here.
Free on Board (FOB) is the price of the coffee packed and stacked in a container ready for shipping. The FOB price includes the total paid to the farmer plus domestic transportation, milling, sampling, packing, and so on. The reason why we use FOB data specifically is simply that this is the most common way of communicating price globally, and is the agreed way of communicating prices in The Pledge. While this is not a perfect indication of how much is paid to the farmer, we believe that by working with transparent supply chains and the same importers and producers year on year, we can be confident that the producers are receiving the majority of the FOB price and that there is an upward trend over time. Please note that all FOB prices published are those negotiated between importer and producer/exporter, and we’re grateful to each of them for sharing this data.
The FOB price does not include the cost of shipping to the UK, financing, storage, the importer’s margin, transportation to our roastery and finally roasting (which results in a 15% weight loss), all of which are accounted for before adding our own margins.