DIRECT TRADE 2

THE PERFECT ROAST IS ONLY POSSIBLE IF IT BEGINS WITH THE PERFECT GREEN BEAN

WHY DIRECT TRADE?

The first step to realizing our mission (to roast great coffee and work with great people to do it) is finding the most amazing green beans this world has to offer. Beans that have the depth of flavour that tells the story of where they come from.

We want our coffees to reflect the complex factors that make them special, from the varietal of the bean, to the climate, soil and altitude of the growing region, to the care and skill of the farmer.

There’s a lot of coffee out there and countless ways to buy, sell, and distribute it, and at Pilot we have our own method, one that aligns with our goals, values and ethics. Direct Trade.

BUILDING LONG-LASTING RELATIONSHIPS

We track down and source exceptional coffee by working closely with our trusted partners on the ground and travelling to the coffee’s origin. The truth is, we would be nowhere without the skilled effort of the farmers and the workers producing high quality specialty coffees to share through the roastery. 

To honour this indispensable effort, we are always expanding our Direct Trade model. This involves regular trips to origin, building strong relationships with producers, touring their farms, and purchasing coffees directly from the growers as often as possible. Through Direct Trade, we can be sure that the premium prices we pay go straight into the hands of our producer partners.

 

SPECIALTY COFFEE

Most coffee on the market can be divided into two categories, commodity and specialty, each with different ways of judging and pricing beans. All Pilot's coffee is Specialty Coffee grade. This grading system puts a lot of stock in the unique influences of origin, and places the highest priority on overall quality. 

Specialty coffee is traded either through specialty importers or directly between roasters and farmers. The price depends on the quality and is often four or more times higher than the price of commodity coffee. 

Since high quality coffee is difficult to grow and care for, specialty coffees almost always come from small lots owned by those dedicated farmers who devote a lot of time and attention to their craft.

OUR DIRECT TRADE POLICY

If our commitment is to quality and sustainability, we have to back that with the best coffee on the market, acquired in a way that is ethical, responsible and caring.

1. COMMUNICATION

We are in direct communication with the farmer and we have visited the farm in person.

2. UNDERSTANDING

We open up our business to our producers and show them how we work, and in turn they help us understand their business so we can meet each other's needs.

3. COMMITMENT

The coffee must be of exceptional quality and the farmer must be committed to sustainable and ethical practices.

4. HONOURING

In return we guarantee a price that is at least 25% above the Fair Trade price. 

When you see the Pilot Coffee Roasters Direct Trade stamp on our coffee bags you will know it has met this standard.

 

DIRECT TRADE

PRODUCER PARTNERS

 
 

Nicholas Hammond - Catalan de las Mercedes

PRODUCER PARTNER: 

NICHOLAS HAMMOND

ABOUT:

In the town of San Martín Jilotepeque, Nicholas began working on his family farm at a young age and became Owner in his 20’s. A student of modern agronomy with a degree in agricultural engineering, he is known at the roastery for his expert processing methods and separating each lot by variety.

Pilot Coffee founder, Andy met Nico in 2013 during a Cup of Excellence ceremony in Guatemala. He was instantly impressed by his coffees and our relationship continues to be extremely collaborative. Our relationship with Nico spans across his family, including his mother Ruth who shares her coffees with us from Finca San Jeronímo.

Coffees from Nicholas’ farming community of Chimaltenango are currently featured in our seasonal blend ‘COMMUNITY.’ A portion of the proceeds from each bag will directly support programs for coffee workers and their families at origin.

SPECIFICS:

FARM:
Catalan de Las Mercedes

REGION: 
Chimaltenango, Guatemala

ALTITUDE:
2200m

DURATION: 
Since 2013 

COFFEES RELEASED WITH PILOT: 
29

CERTIFICATION:
Coffees from Finca Catalan De Las Mercedes feature the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal, which helps to assure environmentally and socially responsible production and harvesting practices. The seal is awarded to farms and forestlands that meet the rigorous criteria of the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard or the Forest Stewardship Council.

Rainforest Alliance Seal

Chalo Fernandez - Las Palmas

PRODUCER PARTNER: 

CHALO FERNANDEZ

SHOP LAS PALMAS

ABOUT:

Chalo Fernandez is a fifth-generation producer from the lush mountains of Huila, Colombia. As a frequent traveller, he can often be found at the roastery sampling coffee and sharing stories from his community.

Chalo is well known in the industry for his passion and enthusiasm. His dedication to his community, family and the environment is evident in his work. Under Chalo’s direction, Finca Las Palmas is celebrated for its innovative production methods and sustainable farming practices. 

Coffees from Chalo’s farming community of Paicol, Huila are currently featured in our seasonal blend ‘COMMUNITY.’ A portion of the proceeds from each bag will directly support programs for coffee workers and their families at origin.

SPECIFICS:

FARM: 

Las Palmas

 

REGION: 

Paicol, Huila, Colombia

ALTITUDE:
1550m

DURATION: 
Since 2016

COFFEES RELEASED WITH PILOT: 
9

Carole Zbinden - El Quizarra

PRODUCER PROFILE: 

CAROLE ZBINDEN

SHOP EL QUIZARRA
ABOUT:

Carole Zbinden opened her micro-mill ‘Garden of Aromas’ on her family’s property In 2011. Shortly after, Carole met our founder, Andy on his first foray to Costa Rica where he purchased coffee from her family’s farm ‘Finca El Quizarra.’

Over the years Carole’s mill and farm have become one of our favourite places to visit on our annual trip to Central America. Their water-saving eco-pulpers and coffee cherry composting programs are two examples of their dedication to quality and sustainability.

SPECIFICS:

FARM: 

El Quizarra

 

REGION: 

Carrizal, Central Valley, Costa Rica

ALTITUDE:
1370m

DURATION: 
Since 2015 

COFFEES RELEASED WITH PILOT: 
7

La Familia Pacas - El Retiro

PRODUCER PROFILE: 

MARIA PACAS

ABOUT:

Over five generations the Pacas family have become synonymous with quality, innovation and social responsibility in specialty coffee. Their incredible influence goes as far as having their own coffee  the Pacas varietal  which is bound to the history of El Salvador’s coffee production. 

Their state-of-the-art wet mill is located in the west of El Salvador on the Santa Ana volcano. However, their operations span across the industry including 19 associated farms, a roastery, exporting company, training centres and cafes.

Maria represents the fifth generation of Pacas family coffee production, more than a century after her great-grandfather, José Rosa Pacas began their legacy. They remain dedicated to growing, processing and exporting some of the world’s finest coffee globally. 

SPECIFICS:

FARM: 
El Retiro + La Providencia

REGION: 
Santa Ana, El Salvador

ALTITUDE:
1400m

DURATION: 
Since 2019 

COFFEES RELEASED WITH PILOT: 
2

Francisco Mena - Sumava De Lourdes

PRODUCER PROFILE: 

FRANCISCO MENA

 

ABOUT:

Francisco Mena is an award-winning Producer and Owner of exporting organization, Exclusive Coffees. Having won the Cup of Excellence in 2016 – the industry’s most prestigious competition and auction – Mena’s coffees are known to be instant classics and include other offerings like ‘Llano Bonito’ and ‘Lot Monte Lourdes.’ 

Founder, Andy’s relationship with Francisco goes back years while visiting Costa Rica cupping coffee at the farm and considers him a true friend of the roastery.

SPECIFICS:

FARM: 
Sumava de Lourdes

REGION: 
Lourdes de Naranjo, West Valley, Costa Rica

ALTITUDE:
1600m

DURATION: 
Since 2015 

COFFEES RELEASED WITH PILOT: 
10