What unites us at Löfbergs is the passion for coffee. We love the taste, the aroma and the endless variations. But most of all, we appreciate the craftsmanship and passion behind each cup. The plant that takes several years before it gives a good harvest, and the hard-working people who pick the ripe berries. The coffee beans are transported down winding mountain slopes, across the world's oceans and then by train all the way to our coffee roastery in Karlstad.
What touches me the most are the people who make a living from coffee growing. I want my coffee drinking to help them have a nicer life. That their local community is given the conditions to flourish and develop, and that the nature and the soil on which they depend are not impoverished. I want them to be able to support themselves on their farms in the long term, and that they should dare to invest for the future. Reports on the effects of climate change show that 50% of the land currently used to grow coffee will disappear by 2050.
Growers are already noticing climate change in many ways. We on the other side of the world hear about it in news reports about droughts, frosts and hurricanes. Soil that erodes and crops that fail. It can be messy to get hold of certain raw materials and we are affected by the coffee price going up or down. But for the people who make a living on the farm, it is more than 'messy' when the harvest goes wrong. Several months of work does not pay off. Investment opportunities disappear, and many times their faith in the future. The younger generation is looking for jobs in the cities and no one wants to take over the family farm.
At Löfbergs, we try to meet the coffee growers' challenges in many ways. We owe them that. We are partners that form parts of the same ecosystem; completely dependent on each other. We are small in many ways, but big enough to make a difference. We can influence most through the kind of coffee we buy, for example through Era of We.
What is fantastic about Era of We, apart from the fact that it gives us coffee nerds really exciting and good specialty coffee, is the shift in power that takes place in the supply chain. The greatest power lies with the grower who has developed the raw material that we all want. The opportunity to build your brand, develop cultivation methods and decide the price yourself. And also get in direct contact with the end consumer.
All coffee sold via the Era of We platform is third-party verified based on Era of We's code of conduct ( you can find it here ) which with its 40 criteria embraces all aspects of sustainability such as human rights, sustainable cultivation methods, business ethics and traceability, as well as respect for ecosystem. The Code of Conduct is based, among other things, on the ILO's core convention and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the standard criteria of Fairtrade and the Rainforest Alliance. My colleague Martin Löfberg, who hatched the idea of the Era of We concept and developed the code of conduct, has for more than ten years traveled to coffee plantations around the world and has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities of coffee growers and the industry.
Right now, coffee prices are high in stores. In some places just over SEK 15 more than a few months ago. A quick count tells me that this means that each cup costs 60 öre more. With my five cups a day, it's SEK 100 a month.
What are we willing to pay to continue getting this much-loved drink? That cup that wakes us up in the morning and brings friends and colleagues together. What rounds off a three-course dinner, gilds the forest excursion and which is also heavenly good with a little whiskey and cream. It's time for us to start paying the right price for coffee. Where we know that every link in the chain has been paid for its work and that neither human's nor the planet's rights have been violated.
We're talking about a product that Swedes can afford to throw a third of in the sink every day - which makes me pretty sure that we are not paying the fair price yet.