The THRIVE Farmers platform gives farmers direct access to the marketplace for their coffee, allowing them to maintain ownership until the point of sale by THRIVE. At that time, the farmer receives a fixed percentage of the revenue generated for their coffee — thereby avoiding any link to the commodity pricing.
Importantly, the farmer can participate economically at the end of the chain, closest to the consumer, where their coffee has the highest value. Being closer to the consumer, the farmer captures added value from his crop to support his family and community, while also investing in the future.
THRIVE partners with companies nationwide who want to enter into long-term partnerships with farmers to create economic sustainability. This equates to consistent demand at fixed prices which, based on the THRIVE model, get passed directly to the farmers.
Farmers normally receive only a tiny percentage of the value their crop generates as it moves through the complex supply chain and is leveraged by multiple players in the coffee industry. The farmer typically loses ownership in the earliest stage of this process. THRIVE Farmers maintain ownership all the way through the end sales, allowing them to share in the revenue generated. Being closer to the consumer, the farmer captures added value from his crop to support his family and community, while also investing in the future.
The higher the quality of coffee produced, the more valuable it is in the marketplace, which in the THRIVE model equates to more income back to the farmer based on the percentage of revenue. This gives farmers proper incentive to learn about and invest in better quality which, in turn, allows consumers to access increasingly better coffee.
THRIVE’s “farm-to-table” approach is at heart of the marketplace today. Increasingly, consumers across all demographics are demanding more from the companies to whom they direct their purchasing dollars. Not only do more people require an understanding of where their food (or coffee) comes from and how it is produced, but they want to be in community with those producers. THRIVE’s farmer-direct platform allows your customer to “Know Who Grows” their coffee. By offering a specialty-grade coffee that supports the farmer, customers associate the retailer’s brand with positive change.
Through THRIVE Farmers, coffee lovers can access hand-crafted specialty coffees from some of the premier coffee growing regions of the world – at prices comparable to mass-produced coffees. Best of all, coffee lovers get to “know who grows” their morning cup.
THRIVE Farmers is not a charity, a branding organization or a trade policy group. We believe that economic sustainability for coffee farmers begins when they are given the business tools, distribution channels and knowledge resources to make a livable income. This is an economic bootstrap approach to sustainable progress.
As the first pillar of sustainability, THRIVE Farmers’ mission is to make the production of coffee economically sustainable. By purchasing Thrive Farmers coffee, the buyer is bringing economic sustainability to the farmer. We believe that the second and third pillars – social and environmental sustainability – can only occur when a farmer can adequately meet his basic needs. The farmer’s growing income creates a multiplier effect in the community as he hires additional workers and purchases more products and services locally.
As the producer’s economic circumstances improve, THRIVE Farmers will enter into an agreement to with the farmer or farmer groups to fulfill their part of the Sustainability Promise regarding the environmental and social issues in their farms and communities. While the nature of this promise will depend upon the individual circumstances producers face, some themes that are likely to be a focus include: to adopt specific production and processing practices over time, to remove old coffee plants and replant new coffee on their farms, to adapt to climate change, and to address the social and economic issues involved in making coffee production a viable livelihood for their children.
As the company grows and generates additional resources, it will support additional community-level initiatives, in response to farmers’ interests and requests. It will also improve its ability to demonstrate the positive impacts of its support at the farm, household and community level.
The THRIVE Farmers Connection details the different ways in which we connect with our farmers. Choose an option from the chart below for more information and examples of each.
A Costa Rican coffee farmer’s son, a struggling ex-lawyer turned coffee farmer and a successful entrepreneur are the unknowing characters whose roads connected in 2011 that created a partnership and the idea of making a difference in the coffee community.
With a simple idea of connecting coffee directly to the consumer, the farmer and ex-lawyer were able to vertically integrate the supply chain by processing, roasting, packaging and selling coffee directly to tourists in Monteverde, Costa Rica, beginning in 2009. When demand for this high-quality coffee quickly outstripped supply, partnerships were formed with other local farmers and, ultimately, the THRIVE model was born.
This new way of trading coffee dramatically increased the price farmer’s crop could command — in many cases up to ten times more income than they would have earned in the traditional system.
THRIVE Farmers worked first with small farmers in Costa Rica and then in Guatemala and Honduras. To bolster quality, increase quantity and to access processing infrastructure for small farmers, THRIVE Farmers partnered with larger scale producers and processors to position the company for future growth. Moving beyond internet sales, THRIVE Farmers began selling roasted coffee to Earth Fare, a supermarket chain based in Asheville, NC, and green coffee to the best independent, specialty-grade coffee roasters nationwide.
Producers, specialty roasters, retailers, consumers and coffee industry thought leaders have responded positively to the THRIVE Farmers revenue sharing model. As a result, THRIVE has recently entered into a number of strategic partnerships to ensure that we can meet the unprecedented demand for high quality coffee through our economically sustainable model.
We invite everyone to enter into a unique partnership with the farmer to create true economic sustainability.