Crimson Cup Develops Friend2Farmer Program with Peruvian Farmers

Ascending the Andes, Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea coffee buyers who traveled from Columbus, Ohio, recently established an atmosphere of personal rapport with Peru’s coffee farmers in a dynamic direct trade relationship called Friend2Farmer.

The 2015 sourcing trip undertaken by company buyers Dave Eldridge and Brandon Bir proved productive on several levels, resulting in stronger connections between growers and marketers.

“We’ve built our Friend2Farmer direct trade program on personal relationships,” Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert, said. “By traveling to meet with coffee farmers, we develop a better understanding of growing conditions and community needs.”

Crimson Cup developed the initiative to ensure that farmers receive a fair share of sale proceeds. Because the business pays an above-market premium to the growers, farmers can in turn invest more effectively in agricultural improvements.

The team, accompanied by horticultural specialist Taylor Harvey and Ohio State University environmental science student Lucas McClish, visited several small coffee operations, including third-generation grower Selena Contreras Obregon’s 104-acre farm; a La Merced coffee warehouse operated by Julio Arevalo Tello; and a reforested farm that the Crimson cup principals believe has developed “some of the best coffee we’ve cupped in Peru,” according to Eldridge. The team plans to study soil samples to help optimize growing conditions.

“Connecting small coffee farmers with the rich resources of the Ohio State University is one of the ways in which we’re helping to improve the quality and sustainability of coffee farming,” Eldridge said. “We’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of micro-lots … at our Columbus roasting headquarters in August.”

Since 1991, Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea has hand-roasted specialty coffee and encouraged independent business owners through its franchise alternative program.