A year-long trip around the countries of origin of coffee
Paulig's Sourcing Manager Anna Vänskä started her year-long trip around the countries of origin of coffee in autumn 2017. The coffee adventure will cover six different countries and take Anna from Peru to Costa Rica and Guatemala. The last stop is in Africa in spring 2018.
I’m sitting in an aeroplane somewhere above the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, butterflies flapping in my stomach. I’m headed for Peru, which is the fifthlargest export country of Arabica coffee. As a coffee trader, I’m used to trips to coffee producer countries but usually they last for about two weeks. This time, my return flight is a year from now!
In Peru, I will spend most of my visit in a small coffee farming village in the Andes. From Peru, my journey will continue to Costa Rica and Guatemala in Central America from where I will move on to Africa next spring. A coffee adventure of 12 months and six countries is about to begin. I am spending my year abroad with one of our important coffee co-operation partners, and our partner is sending its employees to our roastery in Finland. Even though we already work in close co-operation, this year will be an amazing opportunity for mutual learning and profound co-operation, which is a requirement for creating an even more sustainable coffee chain. There is a long tradition of employee exchanges like this at Paulig. Our Sourcing Director did an exchange back in the day and spent a year in Brazil.
The purpose of the journey is to get to know the coffee production chain even better: the farming, harvesting, processing and sales of coffee. Basically everything that takes place before green coffee is shipped. Before the coffee is loaded into shipping containers and transported on an ocean liner towards our roastery in Vuosaari, Helsinki, many people have worked hard to ensure the quality of the coffee. I am especially looking forward to hearing interesting stories along the coffee chain and sharing them with other coffee lovers, of course.
I am excited about the opportunity presented to me by a longer period of working in the countries of origin as it will help me to gain a more profound understanding of the everyday life, challenges and rewarding aspects of the work of coffee farmers. I wish to really put myself out there to better understand the coffee chain and how we at Paulig together with our partner can work for the sustainable future of coffee.