Green coffee import and price calculation 2016

Café Libertad imported 9 containers which included a total amount of 2299 bags of green coffee during the year 2016. The prices for the partner cooperatives and small-scale farmers stayed on a high level. We payed the zapatistic cooperative Yachil 88 MXN per Kg, like we did last year. We also raised the price for the neighboring cooperative Michiza based in Oaxaca from 84 MXN to 87 MXN per Kg.

Additional subsidies were payed. The green coffee prices at Café Libertad have different addition for the political work of the cooperatives and quality of green coffee.

Especially because of the exchange rate fluctuations the coffee from Mexico gets cheaper this year, while the coffee from the women-cooperative based in Honduras gets more expensive. The cause is the raising Dollar, which is the currency for green coffee in Honduras, proportional to the decreasing Mexican Peso, compared to the Euro. We don’t calculate with bigger margin of profit to keep solidarity coffee cheap and try to guarantee small-scale farmers constant prices for their green coffee.

Sorts of the zapatistic coffee now got at 500g ca. 30 cents cheaper, but the Las Chonas coffee got 25 cents more expensive. The Störtebeker and the Sonador got a little bit more expensive ca. 5 cents per package. We hope you’ll understand and show solidarity with the partner cooperatives despite different terms of them.

Coffee-Quality of the harvest 2016

The coffee quality of the harvest 2016 raised compared to last year, despite difficulties during climate change. Because of climate change it gets warmer in higher elevations that reduces the quality of coffee because coffee plants grow faster. Under warmer conditions plant diseases like the “Roja” spread more. Some of our partner cooperatives are based in higher elevations where the impact of this effect isn’t that strong, also they grow the coffee plants under the shadow of trees. Therefore the damage the plants get through solar irradiation and the sensitivity for mono cultures get minimized. The cooperatives which do ecological cultivation are trying to improve old and traditional pest management to fight the “Roja”

Drum roasting with 100% Arabica

We’re still working exlusively with Arabica coffee which has congenitally more fruitiness and flavour then Robusta coffee from lower regions.
Based on a slow and constant drum roasting we decrease the creation of unwanted acidity and residues. Whether dark or bright roasted, unique and regional characteristics remain in the cup and make the coffee fruity, aromatic and well accomodating.

Calculation article 100 Organic-Libertad grounded
4,61 € cost price per 1Kg green coffee
0,72 € loss due to roasting
0,24 € roasting
0,08 € grinding
0,37 € filling
0,04 € label
0,21 € packing
2,19 € coffee tax
0,13 € storage, insurance
0,06 € transport
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8,65 € Sum per 1 Kg green coffee
4,48 € calculative addition (working- and administrationcosts, wagebill, shipping)
0,40 € subsidies and donations (for cooperatives and politcal projects)
0,20 € cooperative reserves (prefinancing of cooperatives and small-scale farmers)
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13,73 € Total per 1Kg green coffee
6,86 € unit price 500 g
0,48 € 7,00% VAT
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7,35 € retail price per 500g Package

Coffee for the daily uprising
Solidary Trade with Zapatista and resistant co-operatives


For 15 years, changing Café Libertad teams have been part of the distribution network for Zapatista coffee from uprising communities in Chiapas. We are also supporting indigenous self-organisation and the work of political co-operatives and women’s projects in other countries.

Solidary Trade isn’t a one way street, but an exchange on equal terms, with all its contradictions and difficulties. It’s an opportunity to change political conditions here and now, to support EZLN in Chiapas or co-ops and movements in Honduras and Costa Rica. To this end, we are counting on your solidarity and support, since self-reliant distribution concepts can work only if you consider yourselves parts of them.

What’s the coffee price made up of? How much money do producers require to meet their needs and how expensive can coffee get to be still affordable for less well-off people here? A difficult consideration! To some extent, coffee enterprises are buying organic coffee at officially “fair” prices in small quantities only while the bulk of demand is met by “conventional” coffee to cut the price. Other companies are selling their goods in supermarkets which means cutting on solidarity for the benefit of the retail sector. We are deliberately forgoing such practices in order to support local projects. That’s rendered possible by omitting intermediate trade to a large extent and relying on alternative networks and self-reliant distribution instead.

We are buying raw coffee at a fixed price which is above the Fair Trade price so as to enable co-operatives to plan on a long-term basis. On the other hand, farmers quit delivering their coffee to co-ops when world market prices are soaring but due to economic hardship sell to corporate groups cleaning out the market instead. As a result, we have to follow upward deflections of the world market price to some degree but don’t want to compensate for low price periods by dumping. Usually, these price deflections benefit wholesale companies and stock market speculation.

Café Libertad is perceiving itself as an anarcho-syndicalist collective which doesn’t realise profits and aims at a solidary and liberated society. Work for import and production is being paid, political work is considered an essential part and is done on a volunteer basis. At the same time, collective self-organisation of work isn’t free of power relationships. Capitalist strictures are permeating ourselves and our everyday lives. Wrong life cannot be lived rightly and there isn’t always harmony at the breakfast table. Consequently, it’s not essential for uprising communities and the Zapatista movement only to reinvent themselves continuously, but here as well, everywhere and in all areas.

We advance asking questions, sometimes doubting. Always in the perspective of an entirely different whole, which as often as not starts locally and with ourselves and which is re-discovered in the Lacandon jungle’s mountains as well as at any other contested places worldwide.

Organic coffee and espresso from Chiapas, Mexico
This coffee’s production and distribution is supporting Chiapas autonomous uprising communities. These earnings are backing the Zapatista riot, securing local people’s livelihood and reinforcing the autonomous movement against the government’s, land owners’ and the military’s power. Another world is possible – it’s up to us to start changing it!

Women’s co-operative Comucap, Honduras
Women’s position in the labour market is particularly precarious. Frequently, lower wages are paid and life beyond dependent relationships is difficult. Women’s co-op Comucap is running a radio station, health and sexual education programmes and is providing land and cultivated areas to advance social security and independence in order to turn around patriarchal structures in the coffee trade. The idea of feminist self-organisation is promoted by every bean of the organic coffee and espresso »Las Chonas«. Collective small farmers’ movement maintaining traditional farming, Costa Rica
Organic farming certificates are expensive and frequently not affordable for small co-ops. At »Finca Sonador« in Costa Rica which had been established as an aid project for civil war refugees, earnings are employed for collective organisation rather than Western certificates. We are gladly supporting this project, particularly as this coffee is pesticide-free and is produced using natural pest control via traditional cultivation methods.

Special solidarity coffee and mixtures supporting projects and political movements Picking up a Zapatista idea, we aren’t only promoting projects and resistance in Chiapas, but also political projects and movements in Germany and other countries proportionally with small amounts of the proceeds from our soli coffee Störtebeker, e.g. anarchist centres abroad or demonstrations, protest and alternative culture next door. On the other hand, solidarity espresso Kiptik is specifically sponsoring political projects in Chiapas and Costa Rica. In June 2012, one more solidarity espresso will be established supporting political movement in the football stadium as well as in the quarter: St. Pauli Roar is going to support independent quarter-based action groups fighting for e.g. the right to the city and fan initiatives against racism and repression.

More products from co-operatives and workers’ collectives

Adivasi black tea and pepper, India
The Adivasi are a sub-population from the Guadulur valley in South India. The tea project’s plantation is owned collectively and earnings are employed to realise village health programmes, schools and house construction. Adivasi black tea and Adivasi pepper are supporting the fight for self-determination and emancipation directly on-site.

Olive oil from Crete, Greece
This high quality olive oil is being delivered in proper style in a tin can and originates from an organic farming co-op in Crete. Additionally, once a year we receive a solidarity Olive Oil for the Movement’s Gear. Producing and selling oil from trees otherwise not being cultivated any more, political prisoners, social protests and the strike movement in Greece are supported.

»Campo« co-operative, Italy
Autonomia, Tutti Bianchi, anti-globalisiation protests. The »Campo« co-operative has been producing and delivering organic products for solidary trade for more than 30 years – for the Italian moments of life! Our pasta is stone-grinded traditionally.

El Puente
Via the El Puente distribution co-op, we are procuring Cuban Varadero rum from the Santiago de Cuba region. The »El Ceibo« cocoa co-ops have originated from social struggles in a mining region and are based on workers’ participation, social security and direct marketing to forestall the price and transport monopolies of intermediate trade. Also as regards our co-operation to import sugar from Ecuador, the focus is on solidary trade and co-operative production.

Propaganda
Books, murals and movies

Cafe Libertad isn’t distributing coffee only, but adequate reading matter as well. Moreover, in our web shop music, films and murals about the Zapatista autonomous movement in Chiapas can be found. Additionally, we are selling antiquarian books focusing on Latin American literature, books on anarchism, social movements, theory and politics. We are working on expanding our stocks to support small publishing houses and limited editions published by solidarity groups to facilitate access to and political discussion of these subjects by many. Check out our supply in our web shop at www.cafe-libertad.de.

Where your money’s ending up
We are paying more than is required under so-called Fair Trade seals. We don’t participate in TransFair, because we don’t want to “invest” in dubious marketing campaigns and distribution structures like supermarkets. We prefer supporting resistance movements in Chiapas and other regions and countries directly. Café Libertad has supported self-administration, co-ops’ conversion to biological farming, anti-repression work, medical aid for refugees, anti-fascist initiatives and women’s projects with € 42 806 in 2011 (more: www.cafe-libertad.de).

Where to find Café Libertad
Web shop, direct sales and depots
Cafe Libertad’s web shop can be found at www.cafe-libertad.de. From Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., we will gladly accept orders by phone at +49 40-20 90 68 92 or meet and greet you at our direct sale rooms at Stresemannstr. 268 in Hamburg where you can take your time contemplating our stuff. Additionally, there are coffee depots in many cities e.g. Freiburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Kassel, Rostock and others. If you would like to support the Café Libertad idea, by all means contact us.