Local coffee is rare. Demand has outstripped supply. Local growers do deserve a premium. We trade fairly with respect for our Aussie growers.
Our local beans really are rare. There is just not enough Australian coffee grown to meet the interest in our delicious, naturally spray free, naturally lower caffeine, real low-mile coffee. Sigh.
Alas we just don’t have enough growers (or enough land ourselves) to meet the growing interest across Australia and beyond. We are frequently asked to supply Australian green bean to other roasters and to export. But as quantities are short, we decline many a request. We have even had to say no to Aussie coffee supply for new cafe requests this past year, as we are so low in stock.
We really are keeping our finest Australian beans to supply direct to homes and offices and our select cafes and fine foodstores across Australia – to those who seek our good taste coffee – and appreciate the Aussie grown status – naturally spray free, sustainable and real fair trade farming practices they can be proud of for their enjoyment.
To our many long term coffee friends, We thank you, and are very grateful for your continued custom and love that you love our coffee too.
The last 2 harvests of 2015-6 were very small. We have had very little supply from our local growers. Some have trimmed their trees, others pulled out their older trees, others have sold their properties to non-farmers. So there really is a shortage of locally grown coffee. The few coffee growers who have available their raw ‘green bean’ coffee put their prices up $2-3/ kilo over the last 2 years.
We have worn that cost for over this last year, and put our mail order prices up this October. It is quite a hike I know, But the $4/ kilo for roasted bean finally covers the cost of the green bean premium (+ 20% roast loss weight and a margin for other business costs) …. we have been paying all year and expect to continue to pay for this harvest and beyond.
We do not expect to put our price up for mail order for some time now.
Australian coffee costs more than foreign coffee
For over 24 years Zentvelds have practiced real fair trade – paying true premiums for Australian coffee, which reflects it’s rare status and provides a real fair income to our local growers. Truly, as roasters we pay many dollars more per kilo for our finest Australian beans than we do for any premium quality foreign beans – even those with organic, fair trade or rainforest alliance status.
However, we wish to remain competitive and feel we offer our beans still at most reasonable prices across Australia to those who ‘love to buy Australian’ and choose Australian grown produce.
Australian coffee grows in only a few pockets of suitable ‘terroir’, and alas, on land that is greatly valued for real estate desirability. Richly fertile soil, not too steep rolling hills, with spring fed water sources – land that is highly valued for housing, wedding/ resorts and lifestylers has pushed out or turned quite a few real farmers. The hills behind Byron Bay are perfect for growing coffee, but the land values have skyrocketed the past 20 years. It is no wonder there are less growers than the past, making our coffee supply rarer. Combine land values with our comparitively higher standard of living than in all the other coffee growing nations .. PNG, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Brazil – all through Central and Southern America, the African nations and S.E Asia. Only Hawaiian coffee is similarly a ‘western world’ with comparitive wages and costs to Australia, and it is highly valued with pricing reflecting it’s rare status too.
I do believe we have been undervaluing our Australian coffee.
Other fine Australian roasters demand many more dollars for their foreign bean states and blends, and we know, as roasters, such green beans cost far less. As roasters, Zentveld’s are operating at far lower profit margins by comparison.
We do think of ourselves as the Australian coffee specialists, being at the forefront of the Australian coffee industry as specialty roasters to cafes and businesses, homes and offices, since 1993. So we hope that you can understand whilst local coffee is both rare and really good – we each have to pay that price to ensure the local growers make a living and continue to grow the great coffee we so easily love.
We hope you will consider this state of affairs and choose to be one of the rare Australians who actually enjoy the privilege of choosing Australian grown, with our finest Australian grown coffee.
Yours in good taste and supporting Aussie farmers,
John and Rebecca Zentveld