Escoffee distinguishes itself from other coffee brands by the following unique characteristics:
1. Highest Quality Arabica: Escoffee is a ‘Strictly High Bean’, wet-processed 100% Arabica, organically cultivated on the slopes of the Andes mountains of Ecuador, using only perfectly ripened red cherries. At 1,600 meters above sea level, the perfect acidity is reached, while the aroma of Escoffee is sometimes described as ‘earthy with chocolate and floral tones’. Cupping results are around 8 for its fragrance, flavour, body and acidity.
2. Socially Responsible beyond Fair trade: Besides focusing on the high quality of the product, our efforts are tailored towards improving the livelihoods of farmers and safeguarding the small scale plantations and their biodiversity. We do this by paying at least the fair trade price (in 2011 double the fair trade price), and in addition reserving part of the profits for extra support for the farmers. We also seek funds from NGO’s to support the farmers. Thus, we were able to finance the organic certification, pulping machines, coffee nurseries, a storage facility and an office, and training for the members of ACOPOC.
3. Ecologically Responsible: By getting a better price for their product, farmers can continue growing coffee. Small-scale coffee plantations offer a good habitat for insects and small animals, as large trees are left standing (for shade). Trees that are cut down in case a coffee farmer cannot make ends meet anymore and transitions to cattle farming, for instance. In addition, the Escoffee-Amigos-ACOPOC nurseries aid in absorbing CO2 and strengthen the future for biodiverse coffee-culture benefiting not only farmers but also Ecuador’s flora and fauna.
4. Supporting Local Processing: Escoffee supports the local economy because it is roasted and packed in the country of origin. This is unique in the world of coffee, where the lion share of all coffee imports into coffee consuming countries is green coffee; a ‘raw’ deal for developing countries! The local roasting also preserves Escoffee’s unparalleled taste. Escoffee is Amigos International’s first 100% PICO product.
5. Transparancy and Traceability: Escoffee features a ‘CÓDIGO CAFÉ’ (COFFEE CODE) on its packages, which allows the consumer to trace the coffee back to the producer: enter the code at www.escoffee.com and one can read the story (in English) about the farmer who produced the coffee from that bag, such as the farmer’s way of production, his/her involvement in the farmers group ACOPOC and his/her ambitions for the future. The story is accompanied by photos of the farmer and a geographical reference of his/her location in Ecuador, in case a consumer might want to visit the farmer in the area during an Escoffee-tour, which is organized annually (contact email@example.com), or independently. This ‘connectivity’ enhances the experience of the coffee consumer while enjoying a cup of Escoffee, while also in line with Amigos’ principles of transparency in the supply chain.
History: Escoffee was founded by the young Ecuadorian entrepreneur Miguel Rendón in 2003 and has made (coffee) waves in a short time in the international coffee world. Escoffee won ‘best cupper of Ecuador’ in 2006 and the Trade Leaders Club Best Company Image in 2007. In 2004, Jerome Kruft founded Escoffee Europe, after working with Miguel and the local managers in the coffee villages of Olmedo (Angelino Abád) and Chaguarpamba (Manuel Sánchez) and deciding that Escoffee should be introduced onto the European market. After a successful pilot project of introducting Escoffee in five stores around Wageningen, Escoffee was picked up by the Organic Distributor ‘De Nieuwe Band’ as of October 2005. Organic certification was organized in 2005-2006 with the help of De Nieuwe Band and Foundation Hivos. Ten pulping machines were financed from the ‘farmer’s fund’ (a reservation of proceeds te reinvest) in 2006, and purchase laptops for the local managers’ financial administration in 2007. In 2008 the financing of 25 more pulping machines was realized. In 2009-2010 Amigos financed a nursery which produces 200.000 seedlings per year in order to increase the yield on the small plantations of the farmers. 2011 saw the legalization of a coffee growing association: ACOPOC – Asociación Agro-industrial de Caficultores Orgánicos de Paltas, Olmedo y Chaguarpbamba, funded by Amigos International and Progreso Foundation in Amsterdam, which also funded a new office and technical and organizational training for the young association.
For more information about Escoffee and the 100% PICO concept, please click here.
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