Specialty coffee farmers, roasters, and consumers are inextricably linked through a complex supply chain, yet are often worlds apart in their understanding of one another.
With a vision to bring these worlds closer together, Souderton, Pennsylvania-based specialty roasting company One Village Coffee has merged with Shared-X Impact Farming, an innovative agricultural company based in Lima, Peru, and comprised of farms in several Latin American countries.
Founded in 2015, Shared-X operates strategic hub farms that share farming technology and practices with smallholder farmers to encourage a culture of innovation. By offering transparency in the supply chain while utilizing modern cultivation techniques to improve yields and product quality, Shared-X works to support the establishment of strong business models in its network of farms.
Andrea Hackman, president of One Village Coffee, felt that after ten years in business the best way to further the company’s mission of deepening the connection between these key points in the supply chain was to work directly with growers.
“Shared-X is making an impact in a way we would never have been able to accomplish on our own,” said Hackman. “They are farmers, living and working in coffee growing communities. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with these amazing individuals.”
One Village Coffee will begin to integrate the coffees sourced through Shared-X into the company’s product portfolio, although it will continue to offer specialty and high-impact coffees from outside of Shared-X farms for now. Meanwhile, Shared-X will work to grow its roaster capabilities with the goal of all coffee being processed through its integrated value chain. One Village Coffee will continue to roast at its headquarters in Souderton, and there will be no immediate changes to the leadership structure of either organization.
“This partnership realizes the Impact Farming vision by connecting smallholder farmers to end consumers,” said Tony Salas, founder and CEO of Shared-X. “Together, we are working to create a transparent and sustainable business model with deep impacts in community, environment and health.”
Shared-X platform has two goals at the center of its mission: growing the number of strategic partners in its network, and providing increased market access for producers. The One Village Coffee partnership supports the latter.
Although Shared-X is a farming company, it is also in large part a social enterprise, using a for-profit model. While most organizations working with producers are not focused on producing or selling products, the “impact farming” model that Shared-X employs is geared toward generating financial and social returns.
The network of farms is comprised of partners who have matched the company’s core values of transparency, innovation, and courage. Shared-X identifies smallholder farmers who desire to create a better farming model and will commit to working with Shared-X’s crop management systems, as well as participate in weekly planning meetings, technical trainings, and crop quality inspections.
Lily Kubota is the digital content manager of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. She is based in Southern California.