Small Batch on the road

Rwanda May 2015

Back in May, we headed out for our first trip to Rwanda. We have just released the first of three coffees we bought on the trip and it seems an apt time to examine how we are now working in Rwanda and why we want to increase our volumes and involvement in this great little country.


News from the shops

Guest Blog Post: Karma Cola

We like to work with good people; people who think, like us, that ethics and sustainability should be central to their whole operation. That's why we stock Karma Cola and we thought it might be nice for them to explain a little about what they do.


News from the shops

Milk Prices and the Global Coffee Market

It’s been pretty hard to avoid the debate over milk prices here in the UK over the last few weeks. The price paid to farmers has fallen by 25% this year and recently dropped to as low 23p a litre prompting widespread protests from farmers. The average cost of production for milk is estimated at 30p per litre and it is the fact that the price has dipped so far below this cost of that has caused outrage. The price is being driven down by the big supermarkets who are desperately competing in a price war against new low cost competitors like Aldi and Lidl.

This is a bleak situation for the milk farmers in the face of the buying power of the large supermarkets and reflects to a certain extent the trends we are currently seeing in world coffee prices. In the last year the coffee C market price (the futures market on which Arabica coffee is traded) has dropped from a high of around $2.25 per lb last October to around $1.30. This has been caused by a variety of factors including a global surplus, currency fluctuations and large predicted harvests for Brazil and Indonesia this year. The cost of production for Arabica coffee varies from country to country but is estimated at around $1.40 per lb for commercial grade coffees and $1.50 and upwards for specialty coffees. Therefore the market is currently trading below the average cost of production for most farmers and has been since March. This is as untenable for coffee farmers as 23p per litre is for milk farmers and if it continues will lead to financial ruin for many producers. The last period of sustained pricing below cost of production on the C market led to the coffee crisis of the 1990’s that devested the producing side of the industry and bankrupted thousands of farms.

News from the shops

Guest Blog Post: The House That Zac Built

Zac Lanza, former Small Batcher and, more importantly, founder of the charity The House That Zac Built has written a little bit about his trip out to Tanzania in June. 


News from the shops

SCAE Barista Skills Foundation Course – by Small Batch Trainer Laura Holmes

At Small Batch we have been long standing members of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE). Earlier this year I took out my first personal membership with the organisation with a view to becoming one of their accredited trainers (AST’s).

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