Today we explored two important components of the coffee supply chain in Costa Rica. We explored Doka, a coffee bean grower (that does minimal roasting) and Britt that roasts coffee. Britt stands between the coffee grower and the consumer of prepared and roasted coffee. They take a lot of time and effort into making their coffee premium and very high quality.
Despite being a Costa Rican based company, many Tico’s do not drink Britt’s coffee. They drink coffee from other countries and they will eat the chocolate that they produce. In the past, Costa Rica only kept their worst product for themselves. They would export 91% of their coffee beans and leave 9% for themselves. The 9% was the below grade coffee and to make it taste better, they would add sugar and other products. That is not the case today, they have new trade policies and they can consume the same coffee they export. Many Tico’s still hold this mentality toward coffee from their country. This is something many of the producers are trying to overcome.
In terms of sourcing, Britt does two things. First, the inspect for the most high quality product. They do this by constantly monitoring the incoming products that they buy. They only work with suppliers that produce the best quality beans. Second, they work with suppliers that treat their employees and the environment well. This ensures that the the efforts they put forth toward the environment is not being wasted by their suppliers.