New Colombian coffee collective putting Medellin on the map


A group of businesses in Colombia’s specialty coffee industry have come together to form Impact, an end-to-end specialty coffee collective that aims to put the city of Medellin, within the Antioquia province, on the map.

This collective will pool experts from every step in the supply chain to provide a total farm-to-cup trade system designed to give small scale producers direct access to the trade system.

The entire supply chain will be combined under one roof in the Impact premise, with the area featuring a quality control lab, processing facilities, as well as a space for exporters and marketing experts.

The collective will source its coffee from local independent producers who will work in partnership with the collective.

The initiative aims to increase not only the producer quality and yield, but to help the coffee producers to earn a fair price above the industry average and develop their own unique brand within the market.

“By focusing on product over profits, we can make decisions based on what’s in the best interests of all the producers and organisations that are within the collective,” says Jennifer Poole, Co-Founder of Impact and Founding Member of Colombian green bean trader Those Coffee People.

“What’s more, as we treat producers as partners rather than suppliers, we focus on helping them improve quality and develop their own unique origin stories – rather than squeezing prices.”

The collectives founding members include: Those Coffee People, Rituales, Proyecto Renacer, La Fábrica, Las Brisas, and Moara. Between them, they have sustained 260 families and in 2020, invested more than US$1.1 million into local Colombian communities.

It is hoped that the collective efforts of this group will help “incubate” Medellin’s growing specialty coffee industry, accelerating local innovation and coffee production.

The Colombian coffee market has grown rapidly over the past few years, in 2015 representing 13 per cent of all specialty coffee export, says the Specialty Coffee Association.

Despite this, Colombian producers still have several barriers to overcome, including access to international markets. Impact hopes that by leveraging its collective strength and power, it can overcome these barriers.

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