On the surface, a transparency report is fairly straightforward.
Released annually, it’s the sharing of a roasting company’s raw coffee buying across a given time period, usually expressed as a table of individual purchases.
Typically the name of the coffee or farm leads, followed by the amount of coffee bought, the country of origin, and the price paid to the producer, the exporter, or both.
More detailed reports might offer quality scores, the terms of the purchase, and an indication of the length of the relationship between producer and buyer.
But there’s a lot more to transparency reporting than a page of published data.
For us at Fieldwork, and for many of our contemporaries around the world, underneath that surface lies the desire to be a better and more responsible participant in a notoriously opaque supply chain; to contribute to ensuring more sustainable prices are paid to coffee growers; to track the progress that we’re making; and to identify areas for improvement.
Speaking purely for myself here, I also want to disavow our industry of the idea that transparent buying is only for ‘the big guys’, and want to continue to demonstrate that even micro-roasters like us can (and should) take a more responsible and future-minded approach to how we buy coffee.
Our goal is to be ever-more transparent, responsible, long-term, and informed customers of the coffee producers we have the privilege to represent.
Producing our annual transparency report is not the objective, it’s the by-product, and a yardstick by which we’re able to measure our results.
While it’s a long way from perfect, I’m proud of the effort we’re putting in, and the progress we continue to make.
Founder, Fieldwork Coffee