'With a fixed-price contract we can invest in our farm': how Joe Coffee and the Guarnizo family work together to ensure everyone wins

“At first, I knew that they produced great coffee and that we were looking for great producers to align with as we established and strengthened our supply chains, early on as a roasting company.  It was a bit risky for both of us to go into this fixed-price contract but we all went along with it.  The second year I visited them and every year since, I have seen the way that they reinvest the profits of their business with the planting of more prized cultivars like Geisha and Yellow Caturra.  They have purchased more land to grow their volume capacity.  It's very refreshing to see small improvements each year.  They are very smart producers and are constantly trying to improve.”

 Ed Kauffman- Joe Coffee Company

The story of a thousand samples: how allocating lots to different products allows Has Bean to buy everything one family produces

“The  main thing I have learnt is what a good man Pedro is, and how lovely his family are and what good friends [we] have become. None of this would have been possible without Caravela. I have benefited from better coffee and an amazing relationship.”

Stephen Leighton -Has Bean

The Guarnizo´s Case Study

The Guarnizo Family is composed of 10 siblings from a traditional Colombian coffee-growing family from Huila. They used to have to travel with their coffee from one buyer to the next, throughout the whole country, selling to the highest bidder.  That was until the family started working with Caravela, who introduced them to Ed Kauffman of Joe New York , and the start of a fruitful and long-standing relationship.

The Problem

The Guarnizo’s processes weren’t standardized, so the quality lacked consistency. Sometimes, the would deliver outstanding lots, and sometimes the coffee just wasn’t that good. We couldn’t understand why, until we visited them and realized that there was structure give to their processes. They had everything in place to facilitate the production of specialty coffee, but didn’t quite know what to do with it; they didn’t have the right processes.

The Idea

We started working closely with the Guarnizo Family, implementing better farming and post-harvest practices, and providing training to enable them to manage their farms more efficiently, and to produce a more consistent product for their newly found customer, Joe New York.

The Result

“We no longer worry about the international market price; we know that we have our sales assured. With a fixed price contract, we have the confidence to invest more at our farm.” says Wilmar. He continues, “We have improved the quality of our coffee, and we are now growing different varietals such as Geisha, Bourbon and Laurina. I’ve noticed how the cup quality has improved.”

Result Numbers



Is the increase of the volume delivered by the Guarnizo Family to Caravela In the last 5 years


Is the increment of AA or above coffee bought to the Guanizo´s family in 2017


is the increase of the AA and above coffee delivered by the family in the last 5 years

Pedro Claros Case Study

Pedro Claros comes from a coffee growing family and since he was small wanted to be a coffee farmer, just like his father. He used to be one more of the thousands of unknown coffee growers in Colombia, until he realized the value that he had in his farm. By becoming a PECA educator at Caravela, he started to learn more about specialty coffee and gradually improved the quality from his farm.  Today, he couldn’t be prouder that his coffee caught the attention of a roaster abroad.

The Problem

Pedro Claros was so worried about the low prices he was receiving for his coffee that he didn’t have time to worry about investing in his farm’s infrastructure and wouldn’t take any risks because he had no income security.  He just prayed that his hard work would guarantee good prices, and that market prices wouldn’t drop too much.

The Idea

When we met Pedro in 2011, we immediately saw his potential as a model coffee farmer. We invited him to be one of our first PECA ‘promoters’, giving us with the opportunity to train him in the hope he would implement this knowledge on his own farm, as well as teaching his neighbors and other producers about these best practices.

The Result

With the help of all his family, Pedro put everything he learned into practice on his own farm and as a result the quality of his coffee improved considerably.  Thanks to this, we sent samples of his coffee to Has Bean, who made their first purchase in 2012.  After several years of buying his coffee, Stephen Leighton decided to commit to a long-term, fixed price contract between Has Bean and the Claros family.

The relationship between the Carlos family and Stephen is one where everybody wins, and where we have all created a long-lasting relationship. It’s not only the volume that has increased; the quality has dramatically improved from what was already a good starting point.

Key Numbers


Over the past six years, Pedro Claros’ deliveries to the Caravela warehouse have increased by


The percentage of income perceived by Pedro Claros over the “c” Market is


Why Buy from Us?

We are your people at origin. We analyse the quality and pay the farmer accordingly, so you only ever pay for what you need, while our farmer education programme ensures that quality continues to improve.
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Our Impact

Caravela is a privately-run coffee export business, with over 17 years of experience and the original founders at the helm. Our unique model allow us to be agile to meet market and farmer demands rapidly and effectively. We innovate to seek efficiencies at all levels, from farm management, processing and shipping to quality control and advice on cost-effective buying strategy.
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