Costa Rica’s Coffee

Today we toured the Doka coffee plantation and Café Britt, learning about the complete process of how coffee goes from field to cup. While visiting Café Britt we learned that tourists go wild over their coffee, as we did, while Ticos do not drink it often. This may seem odd considering that Café Britt was founded in Costa Rica and prides itself on being fueled by Costa Rican workers and traditions. However, upon closer inspection, Café Britt is multinational company that exports most of its coffee and its other products around Latin America and Europe. The company is extremely diversified with major branches of the company in Perú, Ecuador, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia. So, it begins to make sense that Ticos do not drink Café Britt coffee because of the company’s focus on exporting and growing rather than producing coffee for Ticos. Café Britt is an extremely diversified company and its location on the coffee supply chain is very interesting.

Coffee is only a small part of Café Britt’s product line. Café Britt has 130 stores in 11 different countries with food markets, bakeries, chocolate stores, along with handmade gifts. Café Britt therefore functions (in the coffee supply chain) as a manufacturer and distributor of its own brands of foods, clothes, gifts, etc. made by Costa Rican locals. This is drastically different from Doka coffee plantation that functions as a Supplier’s Supplier of raw coffee beans to companies around the world. Doka also creates its own coffee, but this contributes to a very small portion of their sales in total because they keep only 5% of their beans. Café Britt is extremely successful in many ways and one of those ways is in the art of sourcing materials.

Cafeé Britt is extremely financially successful. With around $100,000,000 is sales, it is a combination of buying, making, selling, logistics, sustaining, and managing everything that contributes to this success. In this case I will focus on buying, or sourcing, materials. Café Britt uses multiple methods of sourcing the diverse number of things they sell. In the case of coffee, the company actually produces its own beans and processes them in each country where coffee beans can be grown. In the case of clothes, jewelery, and other items, Café Britt buys these things from locals in Costa Rica or whatever country their store may be in. This makes Café Britt so successful because it allows them to control the quality and price so that it can be extremely profitable for them. I agree with this method and believe it is a smart business model. By making their own products, or buying them locally, it keeps the prices low and allows for profits to be achieved fairly easily. Something I would do differently would be to try and expand to more places where the demand for coffee, local goods, and food is high, such as the United States. While the Miami Café Britt store closed it is because they did not have a firm grasp of the market in the United States. By trying to expand to more places, Café Britt could easily expand it profit margin making it a global brand rather than a multinational brand.

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