Transparency is in our DNA 

It was part of our mission when Nordic Approach was first established to be fully transparent about pricing. Back in 2011, that meant publishing our price lists online. As Morten writes, at the time, that was revolutionary. We have always shared our FOB numbers and price structuring information with customers, and recently we began publishing personalised transparency reports for all our roasters to shed light on the value that Nordic Approach adds between the FOB cost and the sale price. Don’t have one yet? Contact your sales person now and we’ll create one for you. 

Transparency in 2019

The industry has changed and so has the concept of transparency. You are now asking us for more information about pricing at origin, specifically, how much the farmer earned. We agree, this is crucial information. We have been working to source this data for every coffee we buy and will begin publishing these numbers, starting with our Rwandan coffees purchased between September 2018 and September 2019. 

Transparency is not a beauty contest 

We are not putting these numbers into the world to pat ourselves on the back for the high prices we pay producers, or to one-up our competitors. Our goal is to be able to pay enough for good coffee so farmers can earn a dignified income and invest to continue producing quality into the future. We believe transparent price data is the first step towards achieving this goal. Specifically, as Joanne writes, we need an independent pricing mechanism so specialty coffee can break free of the C-Price. 

The key to transparency is educating ourselves

There are many steps involved in transforming coffee from a cherry to a green bean. Understanding the value chain in each origin allows you to understand what the farmer invested, risked, and delivered. Without this knowledge, it is impossible to compare the price paid to a farmer in one country to a price paid to a farmer in another. 

We get it. This stuff is complicated and you will need to invest time to understand it. We considered simpler ways of presenting this data but we felt these options always misrepresented the numbers in some way, which would put us further behind our goal to make coffee a sustainable livelihood for farmers. Investing in the time required to educate ourselves about the value chain of each origin where we buy coffee is essential for our industry to be truly transparent. 

Nordic Approach Transparency Reports

We are rolling out our transparency data origin by origin from now until April 2020. In each report you will find information about the value chain in that origin, and the value chain of our suppliers, plus what was paid for cherries, parchment and green. In future we will publish this information where we put all our coffee information, on Cropster Hub. 

Read our first origin transparency report:
Rwanda Transparency Report: September 2018 – September 2019

“Why Transparency Matters” blog post series

Want to know more about transparency? We have plenty of reading material to get you started.

Read part 1: What I Thought I Knew About Coffee 
Nordic Approach intern Timna Eckschmidt charts her journey from consumer to coffee professional, and what she learned about the supply chain along the way.

Read part 2: The Real Power of Price Information 
Joanne writes that beyond simply publishing numbers, price transparency is important for understanding the supply chain, for valuing the different parts of that supply chain and most importantly for stimulating a greater responsibility to pay producers a price that not only makes their production sustainable but profitable and enriching.

Read part 3: Creating a Specialty Coffee Pricing Mechanism
Joanne shows how the specialty coffee sector is still dependent on the C-price in varying ways. Even when we make our best efforts to pay prices that are not influenced or related to the C-market, we are compared to it. In order to break entirely from the C-price, the specialty industry needs its own pricing mechanism for distinct high quality coffees.

Read part 4: Being Transparent About Transparency
Morten demonstrates how comparing a cherry price to a parchment price is comparing apples to oranges. In order to understand the price the farmer was paid, we must first understand the supply chain in that origin, the product the farmer delivered and the investment, value and risk associated with that product.

Read part 5: Close Encounters with the C-Price
Our resident historian, Alec, recalls the early days of Nordic Approach when we took a big risk. The team bet that a community of quality-minded roasters would value exceptional coffees from trustworthy and progressive producers, regardless of any movement of the C-market. Thankfully they were right.

More transparency blog posts

Connecting the Dots — From Farm Gate to Offer List Price
Alec takes you through the steps, and costs, of getting high quality green coffee from origin to your door.

Pride (And Nerves) For Our First Origin Transparency Report

Morten, Jamie and Suzie share their thoughts on our first report with price data from origin, and the reasons why we chose to present the data this way.

Personalised transparency reports

We currently offer a personalised transparency report for roasters which gives the exact breakdown of costs from FOB to the price you paid for any coffee you purchased from Nordic Approach, including our margin. Don’t have one yet? Ask your sales person and we can prepare one for your roastery.

If you buy coffee from us, you can sign The Pledge. Your personalised transparency report includes the information you need to meet the transparency goals of this initiative. Contact your sales rep to request your report.