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How we remained loyal to our farmers – despite the worldwide supply chain mess

As a member of the coffee industry, you are more than familiar with the global logistics and supply chain complications resulting from the pandemic. Transportation prices for both inland and ocean freights have increased, the availability of containers and space on vessels is scarce, and the demand is higher than ever. The photo below shows some of the 94 containers waiting off the coast of Los Angeles, California for a spot at the docks to unload their cargo (WSJ, Dec 7, 2021). In fact, one of our own employees saw rows upon rows of ships off the coast of LA over the holidays.


California’s Port of Los Angeles is struggling to keep up with the crush of cargo containers arriving at its terminals, creating one of the biggest choke points in the global supply chain crisis. This aerial video illustrates the scope of the problem and the complexities of this process. Photo: Wall Street Journal via Thomas C. Miller

Not only are there countless shipments that still need to be transported, but now many ports lack the necessary personnel to finish the job in unloading containers upon arrival. Ships pile up outside of ports, creating “traffic jams” for weeks on end, risking serious schedule delays in unloading. Even for vessels that do arrive on schedule at the final destination port, port delays can extend from one to eight weeks.


Unfortunately, some coffee industry producers have had to slow or even halt their business because of these challenges.


Yet JNP Coffee micro-lots remain competitively priced, despite these unprecedented global supply chain challenges and coffee industry cost increases. We remain committed to our farmers who make the specialty coffee industry possible.


This harvest, there was a 4x increase in ocean transportation costs, combined with increased costs to purchase coffee due to a smaller harvest overall. We’ve also been jumping through hoops on a daily basis in order to ensure our coffees get on vessels with the most direct routes and fastest arrival times. While Los Angeles is one of the ports in California that has experienced the bulk of these incredible delays, we are thankful that our primary port in Oakland has been able to overcome some of the constraints, and our coffees heading to the Continental Terminals Annex warehouse remain on schedule.


While challenging, we’re moving forward to stay true to our mission: keeping the farmers at the forefront of everything we do. As we wrap up this year’s harvest, we look forward to delivering our promised year-end premiums to farmers, even though their produced coffees have yet to reach the port.


As echoed in our practice, JNP Coffee’s mission is

to transform lives in Burundi by shifting social norms through the production of exceptional coffees for the global market, sharing premium prices with coffee farmers, and giving women the tools to be self-sufficient through ownership rights and access to education. We are guided by the belief that we are here to make a difference.


An essential element of the JNP Coffee mission is our Dushime™ premium payment program, an additional payment shared with our farmers as a reward for the incredible quality they produce during each harvest. A key pillar of our mission, rewarding our farmers with a premium is non-negotiable -- we keep our promises.


Although increasing transportation and supply costs are working against us, our coffees remain competitively priced in the market to ensure the farmers still receive the premium payments they deserve. At the end of the day, we stay true to our mission and fulfill our promise to our farmers, as they stand at the heart of why I founded JNP Coffee.


For those who regularly source coffee from Burundi, you know this was a smaller harvest than usual. This wasn’t just in Burundi. Many coffee-producing countries also experienced smaller harvests. Coffee prices are at 10-year high, and analysts say they have much further to go (CNBC, Dec 1 2021).


We are committed to our farmers and thus have not passed on the increased costs to our clients, nor reduced our premium payments. We are absorbing the additional expenses so we can continue to support our mission to transform the lives of our farmers.


If you want to do good in the world, or if your green coffee order has been delayed, our warehouses in New Jersey, California, and Washington will have natural and fully washed coffees from the new harvest arriving in early 2022. Some spot micro-lots are still available for immediate sale.


Reach out to us today to secure some of our high-scoring Burundi specialty coffee and help ensure we all weather this global supply chain storm together.




References:

Stamm, S., Simon, R., Hufford, A., & Pacheco, I. (2021, December 7). Stuck at port for 54 days: How one ship's delays hurt small businesses. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/container-ship-delays-small-business-port-supply-chain-11638893446.

Taylor, C. (2021, December 1). Coffee prices are at 10-year highs, and analysts say they have much further to go. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/01/coffee-could-rally-for-years-after-hitting-10-year-high-analysts-say.html.




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