Talking about sustainability and what it really means is a big deal to us.  We believe in the journey, the ever changing target and working with honesty to integrate society and nature with our economic desires.

Our Coffee is not “Certified”

There is an abundance of peer reviewed articles and research that has been completed that attempts to measure and identify the impacts of sustainable coffee certifications.
We believe there is evidence to support  certification mechanisms are not the key driver of positive impacts in a coffee growing community.  Policies made by National institutions, management of cooperatives, education of farmers, pre-existing land use conditions, access to facilities like washing stations and in particular the relationship between  buyers and growers are more influential in creating change than alignment with a certification mechanism.
Certifications can be criticized because in most cases they do not include flexible requirements for local conditions, they enforce  one-way communication mechanisms  and in many research examples, have failed to create change in existing farm practices.
Luckily, coffee consumers are changing and we may be riding the ‘Third Wave’ of coffee consumption, which is based on transparency, direct communication and long term relationships between coffee growers and buyers.

Seis Cielo Sustainability Goals

Shorten the supply chain

Pay fair prices to the farmers

Continuously measure, monitor and adapt

Reduce environmental impact of our product

Upgrade facilities

Be transparent

Combined we have over 50 years of working in conservation and environmental management in Honduras and this work is what lead us into the coffee business.

Our future plans are embedded in our sustainability goals and are based on the commitment to remain flexible, adaptable and work on solutions that are unique to the community we are involved with.

How are we achieving our goals?

 

We are the buyer, the exporter, the importer, the broker and if you shop from us here, the end retailer.

 

Individual Farmers –  Seis Cielo Coffee – You.

 

If you read about the coffee roasting lead innovators like Temple Coffee Roasters   , who are responsible for the concept and measurement of ‘ Return to Origin’ or RTO, you will understand that the prices paid to farmers or the FOB price for green coffee, does not always show the fees of cooperatives, exporters, importers and other parties involved in the transaction.

Transparent Trade Coffee is a online registry where coffee roasters can provide information on the prices paid per lb for green coffee, and a calculation estimate based on industry statistics about how much of that can be considered RTO, or returned to origin.

Transparent Trade Coffee website states: ‘ It is time to clearly and succinctly inform coffee consumers about the economic treatment of coffee growers.’

We couldn’t agree more, and that is why all our coffee will be registered as a Transparent Trade Coffee as it becomes available for retail on our site.
Check out our currently listed coffees here.

Our super direct supply chain also ensures our RTO is easy to calculate accurately since we have NO fees, NO deductions, NO charges to the farmers we work with.  What we pay FOB is what they get in their hands.  We also paid the registration cost on behalf of our farmers which is a requirement in Honduras for coffee destined for export.

Maintaining Two Way Communication

Our background is not specifically in coffee, that is why we relied heavily on Finca el Laurel and Daniel Ramirez, the eldest son of the 2017 Honduras COE ™ winner and the Honduran Institute of Coffee.   By communicating our start up plans and goals as a company we were able to coordinate a community of over forty coffee growers and complete the requirements of both an export and import company.  Becoming one of two small scale coffee exporters in Honduras, the only one exporting green coffee.
Coffee purchasing was based on the SCA specialty coffee requirements, of score, humidity, defects, consistent size etc.The producers knew this going into the harvest season in October and were prepared to put in the extra work for an extra financial benefit. We cupped and scored all the individual lots, collecting samples together with the farmers and cupping officially with three different Q Graders; two from IHCAFE and one from the excellent Honduran Coffee Roaster CAFETANO. All the results of the cuppings were shared with the farmers, with print outs made available to pass around and discuss.
We are still communicating with the farmers who send us updates on the 2019 Harvest, while we are updating on our progress making sales.