Today was all about the café! I learned a lot about the coffee supply chain from our visits to Doka Estate and Café Britt. The two companies were very different from each other, and I am going to focus on Café Britt. A supply chain involves the flow of materials, money, and information. The components typically include suppliers, customers, and manufacturers/distributors. Café Britt’s role in the supply chain is as a manufacturer and distributor. Café Britt does not grow most of the coffee that they roast and sell. Instead they purchase it from other plantations around the country. They must ensure that the supplier provides quality coffee beans and that it is safely transported to them. Then Café Britt takes care of roasting the bean, packaging the coffee, exporting it, and selling the final product. I consider them a manufacturer because they are part of the final “making” steps in the process when they roast it and package it. Then they are a distributor because they are in charge of selling it and the transportation involved. They are in the middle of the supply chain process because then the customers buy it at the end.
Café Britt measures success differently than many other companies. They value quality much more than quantity because their focus is gourmet coffee. They see coffee as a source of pleasure rather than a commodity. They would prefer to buy from small organic farms than from huge farms using pesticides. This is also why they only roast coffee for online shipments as it is ordered, so that it is the most fresh. They also measure success with regard to the positive relationship with the customer. It is important to them that the customer has a good experience and appreciates the premium coffee. They want their customers to come back for more. The third way that they measure success it through their innovative sustainability and outstanding marketing practices. They are very proud of their green certification and the steps they are taking to protect the environment like the organic farming and recycling of packaging. They also consider themselves very successful because they expanded café Britt from just coffee to a whole brand which also sells coffee, souvenirs, and more. They even have travel retail stores in other countries in which they sell coffee from that country and souvenirs for that country. They also sell to local coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels (and on the internet directly to customers). This allows them to earn lots of money through their sales. All of these topics make Café Britt consider itself to be successful.
Logistics is an important part of the supply chain process and it is something Café Britt needs to focus on when making and selling their products. One stage of transportation is of the coffee bean from the plantation to Café Britt’s roasting factory. Café Britt then takes care of the transportation to the customer. When dealing with online orders in the US, they ship it to Miami where they have a warehouse to store it, then it is distributed to the different states. When producing the souvenirs for the traveling retail stores, they use a distribution company in China (where they are made). Then they are distributed to the various countries with Britt Shops in airports and tourist attractions. The good thing about the ease of logistics for selling coffee in various countries is that they sell the coffee from that country. So it is grown, roasted, and sold in a smaller region rather than going long distances. To do this, Café Britt outsources to other roasting companies but requires certain standards to be met. This all helps them to be efficient and still ensure quality.
Another part of logistics is the packaging to ensure the product stays good. Coffee beans must be protected from oxygen, light, and water. To do this the packaging is made of plastic and aluminum. To be sustainable café Britt later recycles the plastic and reuses the aluminum. They also use recyclable cardboard boxes to ship them in. This is all good for the coffee, good for café Britt, and good for the environment.
I agree with Café Britt’s logistic approach in many aspects. I think it is wise that they have a warehouse in America since they have many sales there. I also think it is smart that the coffee they sell in other countries is made there so they don’t have to worry about transporting it far. This means the coffee is more fresh and also the customers are more likely to buy coffee from their own country. I also think the specific packaging they use is important and effective. The only thing I might change is the local transportation between plantation and roasting. Café Britt would have to analyze spending costs but it might be worth it if they got the beans from the plantations themselves or contracted another company for transport for in between. I am thinking this might work because at Doka Estate that is how it is handled. Doka is only responsible until the beans are placed on the truck at the farm, then they are property of the company they are selling to, which would be places like café Britt.
I’m so glad I got to learn more about the coffee supply chain and the very effective strategies of Café Britt. I cannot wait to learn more and compare with more companies