Brands We Love: Pact Coffee

January 13, 2022

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At Alectro, we’re constantly on the lookout for sustainable alternatives to everyday items. This is an opportunity to share the brands that we love and that are making the world a greener place to live.

Pact Coffee is on a mission to make coffee better for everyone. Better for farmers, better for coffee lovers, and better for the planet.

We caught up with Sophie Greenwood, Corporate Sales Manager at Pact, to discuss how they’re changing coffee, one brew at a time.


You’ve probably heard of Pact — they provide coffee subscriptions for thousands of people in the UK, delivering fresh coffee from around the world.

But did you know that by buying Pact, you’re enabling a massive improvement to the planet too?

By sourcing 100% speciality grade coffee directly, paying farmers on average 65% above the Fairtrade base price, and championing sustainable farming practices, Pact is committed to transforming the coffee industry from the inside out.

Sophie gave us the insight that Pact is providing a three-pronged approach to fixing the key issues that exist in the coffee industry.

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Why does Pact exist?

“It’s simple: everyone drinks coffee, so we help people make their coffee better, both by the way it tastes and the way it's sourced."

What key things does Pact do best?
Direct Trade

"To improve the direct trade model, our head of coffee, Will, creates relationships with growers at their farms. Sourcing beans directly from them, without having to include any middle parties.

  • In Phase 1 we identify farms in regions that we believe can produce ‘speciality’ coffee. The term “speciality” is defined by the SCAA (Speciality Coffee Association of America) as coffee that scores at least 80/100 on its quality test.

    The coffee is scored by coffee-tasting professionals in the following categories: sweetness, acidity, balance, mouthfeel, flavour, and defects. The farms we find are currently scoring below 80 but we believe they can get above that threshold with a little bit of help.

    Find out how coffee is scored here

  • In Phase 2, we invest in training and equipment to increase the farm's score. We also invest in animals like goats which help to fertilise the farm while also providing the farmer’s family with milk.
  • In Phase 3, the team revisits the farm to see the improvement, and then once it scores above 80 we build the business model for direct trade.

With our direct business model, we remove the middle parties involved in the coffee trade and pay an average of 65% above Fairtrade base price.”

Sustainability

"The second part of what we do is focus on sustainability. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing coffee farmers around the world, and so we work with farmers who are committed to sustainable farming practices, no pesticides, and fair production. Many of these farms reforest land and protect wildlife as part of the project."

Gender Equality

"The third part of what makes Pact different is our commitment to eliminating gender inequalities in the coffee industry.

One example is at Asomuprisma in Colombia, where a society of farms are entirely run and operated by women. However, we realised that before they were able to sign off a sales agreement, they still “needed their husband’s approval” to complete the deal.

We saw an opportunity to provide a platform to help them make decisions by themselves, so we created a program to deliver this. As part of that, we helped them to develop local cooperatives to share resources and in 2021, Pact helped connect many of these cooperatives together.”

Asomuprisma Women’s Association

Find out more about Asomuprisma here

What are the trends in the coffee industry?

“Interestingly, there is a big shift towards decaf. We think it's due to an increase in mental awareness, and so people still want the great taste of delicious coffee but without the constant caffeine high! We added more decaf coffees to our menu last year to cater for this.

The second big shift is towards plant-based milk. In self-serve coffee machines across London, there has been roughly a 50/50 split of plant/dairy milk coffees made — this is a monumental change from a few years ago.”

What’s next for Pact and what can we get excited about?

“At the end of January, all packaging for our business customers will be recyclable! This has been a challenge for a while as we’ve been balancing freshness and coffee quality with making sure that we are taking sustainability seriously. But in the coming months, this is all going to change as we roll out our new recyclable bags!

We’re also moving towards a carbon-neutral model at our roastery as we transition further towards a low carbon economy.

We continue to release our Transparency Report where we try and be as open and honest with our customers about what we have done, what we’re doing, and what’s still to come.

We know the gaps, and we know what we’re working on to improve them.”

You can read the Transparency Report here

So, there you have it - all the reasons that we love Pact, distilled into a single page. If you're interested in finding out more, then reach out to Pact or find more information on the website.


Thanks again to Pact Coffee for talking to us - we're looking forward to sharing the next in our Brands We Love series before too long!

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This article was originally published on LinkedIn: Brands We Love: Pact Coffee