At the coffee and banana plantation, we were able to see how each company has a unique delivery process, and how within each company they may have different processes for different products. For example, Doka mostly exports its coffee beans to the US, only keeping small amounts to roast and sell under their own company, Tres Generaciones. Their delivery process for the beans involves large 20 or 40 foot containers, as this is the bulk of their business. Their delivery process for their own brand which serves a very niche market in Costa Rica is very small scale, and wouldn’t require as many forms because it isn’t being exported internationally. Dole, however, has the entire banana process in one place, meaning the delivery process is more integrated with the other steps as they all occur in a factory setting. Dole delivers only one product from their banana plantation, unlike Doka. Dole packages their bananas in large boxes which are then stacked into trucks and taken to ports. Bananas need more care taken to avoid bruising and and do not remain fresh as long as coffee. Therefore, there is more pressure to have these products delivered in a timely fashion. Learning about the delivery process at the plantation stage for both the coffee and banana industry has showed me how each product require different care throughout their respective process, but the general concept of packaging, filling out forms and shipping is roughly the same.
After the plantation stage comes processing mills and exporters. For some companies, such as Cafe Britt, processing and exporting is all they do in respect to their coffee business. Cafe Britt doesn’t bother to grow the coffee plants themselves, and instead have smaller coffee farmers deliver to them. Their delivery process is mostly to tourist locations, such as hotels and airports. Since Cafe Britt is branded as gourmet and is relatively expensive, the market for their product revolves around where foreigners will be. This means the bulk of their deliveries are to internal locations which require less certificates, but will still need to be tested by ICAFE. Their delivery process would utilize large trucks, likely owned by Cafe Britt, to move products like coffee and chocolate to these markets. ICAFE must test these products to ensure they’re authentic and safe. This step in the supply chain showed me that exporting products is not simple form-wise. Obtaining clearances from ICAFE is part of the process, and our visit there allowed us to see the extent of their testing on the processing and exporting procedure.
When the coffee supply chain progresses to coffee roasters, the delivery process involves shipping to either local markets or other countries. For companies like 1820, the product is transported to grocery stores, as it is common for Ticos but not for tourists. Their delivery process is illustrative of internal delivery process. I learned from this portion that, despite some companies, like Cafe Britt, who are constantly innovating, in a lot of ways the coffee industry is complacent with its current processes including the delivery process.
In terms of the delivery process to the customer, most people will buy their everyday coffee from a local grocery store. Gourmet coffees may be purchased from upscale shops, which would be delivered from places like Cafe Britt’s larger factories. Delivery process for the customer would simply be choosing their blend and taking it home to brew. Learning about the delivery process for customers reminded me how coffee is very common in Tico households and remains an important industry, especially for Costa Rica.