New Facility Serves Thousands of Organic Coffee Farmers in Africa and Latin America with Vertically Integrated Supply Chain
Sacramento, Calif. (March 17, 2022) – Sacramento’s Pachamama Coffee, a pioneer in ethical sourcing and business innovation, announces the opening of its new coffee roasting and fulfillment center in El Dorado Hills, California. The 4,000 square foot facility expands Pachamama Coffees’ capacity sixfold to meet growing regional and national demand for its artisan roasted organic coffee for its retail cafes, wholesale accounts and online subscription service. Nationally recognized for its model, unprecedented in the coffee industry, Pachamama centers equity for smallholder family farmers in Africa and Latin America who have owned and governed the company since day one of its operations in 2006.
The coffee supply chain faces serious threats – from long standing power inequities, price volatility, and of course climate change. What’s more, despite expected coffee industry revenues of $460 billion this year, farmers often earn less than 10% of the retail value of their coffee. Pachamama’s farmer-owners are solving this problem by roasting and brewing their best organic coffee in California. As the decision makers for their business, farmers set their own price, control their own profits, and create a direct link to the consumer market. In 2020, Pachamama farmers received on average $15.34 per pound of roasted coffee, which is 11 times higher than the $1.11 C-market price paid to most farmers.
“As a vertically integrated coffee company owned by thousands of farmers around the world, our new El Dorado Hills facility is about more than growth,” said Thaleon Tremain, CEO and Co-Founder, Pachamama Coffee. “We can’t control climate change or port congestion, but we can tackle inequity. Today we prove that a successful company can be run by people most often at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Without compromise, Pachamama’s customers buy freshly roasted coffee directly from the farmers who grew it, and that’s a powerful solution to a broken supply chain.“
To celebrate the milestone in her business, Pachamama’s Co-Founder and President, Merling Preza Ramos, will travel from Nicaragua for the ribbon cutting ceremony on March 17, joining Vice President Carlos Reynoso of Guatemala and board members Alejandro Gutierrez Zuniga and Ruben Zuniga Peralta of Mexico.
“This is a great day for tens of thousands of coffee farmers who grow the coffee in your morning cup. We celebrate the Pachamama model because it generates wealth, which is especially powerful for women farmers working to strengthen their families and communities. Compare this with large coffee corporations that fail to consult even one farmer. We are the owners in the entire coffee chain; it is our product from our hands to the consumer,” said Merling Preza Ramos, GM of Prodecoop, Estelí, Nicaragua and Pachamama President.
Pachamama’s ethical sourcing carries over to the new equipment purchased for the expanded facility. In an unconventional move, the company chose two small-batch roasters rather than one large machine. Roasting in smaller batches allows more attention to nuances that affect the coffee taste profile, maintaining the integrity of the craft by giving each small batch the care and attention it deserves. The two new roasters are from US Roaster Corp, a family-owned business. Built in Oklahoma City, the machines are made from American steel and electronic components.
Head Roaster Theo Bernados waxes enthusiastic about the new machines and his passion for small-batch roasting. “We chose these roasters because the quality and craftsmanship is superior to most machines that are built today,” said Bernados. “USRC has been making roasters for more than thirty years and two of the Roaster of the Year awards were won by my peers using USRC roasters. Game on!”
To mitigate climate concerns, a new thermal oxidizer (also called an afterburner) will drastically improve emissions, cutting natural gas use by up to 50 percent. American-made in Idaho by Selkirk Manufacturing, the afterburner is fabricated with steel exclusively sourced from US mills. Furniture in the new facility will be mostly handmade, using reclaimed fir timber wood from the now decommissioned Camino Mill in El Dorado County. Pachamama received financing support for the new facility from Shared Capital Cooperative, of which Pachamama is a member.
About Pachamama: Pachamama Coffee Cooperative is a farmer-owned roaster and retailer of specialty coffee based in Sacramento, California. The global co-op was founded in 2006 by five pioneering producer groups from Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Ethiopia, representing more than 400,000 smallholder coffee farmers. Pachamama currently runs three cafes in northern California, maintains a successful direct-to-consumer subscription service and a national wholesale business serving thousands of customers. Pachamama Coffee is the winner of the 2021 Speciality Coffee Association’s Sustainability Award for its farmer-owned business model. Learn more at www.pachamamacoffee.com