Demystifying the coffee supply chain

Written by algrano
on October 10, 2019

Last week, the European coffee scene congregated above Lake Annecy, France for four intense days of workshops, coffee tasting and panel talks with coffee industry leaders.


view all event photos



opening ceremony with Coffee Roasters Guild

IMG_7044Cropster team with Filip Bartelak's during his "spicy" sensory workshop


Assessing green coffee quality with Raf Mlodzianowski


The days were based upon sharing experience and scientific knowledge to supporting each other through an array of challenges. We learned about green coffee aging and how it can be controlled and/or slowed as well as preserving the freshness of roasted coffee. Also, the facts, myths and the reality of coffee fermentation which was showcased afterwards in a cupping. Ideas were shared about what can be done in the roastery to reduce waste including the use of sustainable packaging, how to lower waste and re-use waste wisely. Roasting super-blends with leftover green coffee and donating it to social institutions (old age homes, schools, etc.).


For algrano as a green coffee provider it was particularly important to hear that roasters are in general concerned about the waste associated with green coffee sample packaging and that they don't want to receive samples they did not request. Looking inward, roasters using the algrano platform receive samples only when ordered through the platform.

IMG_7158Dr. Samo Smrke, ZHAW on The Science of Coffee Freshness

IMG_7464Dmitry Boroday on Green Coffee FermentationIMG_7550Fermented and "fake coffee" cupping with Dmitrii Borodai


As Green Coffee Sponsor for the third year, algrano held cuppings from APAS & SanCoffee from our #BrazilDiscoveries and Veronika shared her experience as QC manager on "Green Coffee Purchase Planning".


Green Coffee Purchase Planning with Veronika Kečkéšová


cupping variances between offer sample & pre-shipment samples


One of the main topics of the presentation was focusing on how leaving room for imperfections can pay off later on. A discussion has been raised regarding defining thresholds for these imperfections. During the cupping we showcased 5 coffees where one of was the offer sample one would make their purchase decision on. The remaining four samples were the pre-shipment samples of the same coffee lot. The fact that all the coffees on the table were “supposed to be” the same was only presented after the cupping was finished. We discussed how much different/alike the presented coffees were and discussed our personal thresholds towards them.


click here for Veronika's full presentation


The highlight of the weekend was the emotional "Coffee Price Crisis" panel discussion with Joanna Alm including Allan Botrel of SanCoffee.


Joanna Alm, Managing Director of DROP Coffee leading the panel on the Coffee Price Crisis


Rosario Juan roaster and direct source of native coffee

in the Philippines in the panel on Coffee Price Crisis


Joanna Alm getting serious about the SCA & roaster's

acting towards a shift in supporting the coffee price crisis


In the coffee price crisis there are currently many more questions than answers in a massif of complexity in for instance regards to a fair distribution of resources within the supply chain, future investment, risk management and a standard minimum wage across the coffee belt. The SCA is making steps forward to understand the situation and requires cooperation of the coffee industry to make headway. The most difficult step and the most profitable for both sides is to speak directly to coffee growers to find ways to support them through this difficult period.


- Know the FOB and/or farm-gate price
- Find a green coffee supplier you trust
- Is not afraid to answer your questions
- Ask questions, be proactive


This is what Belfast Coffee Roasters posted on Facebook/Twitter:

"This is our first move into transparency in coffee purchasing. Working with we were able to get a total breakdown of costs from the COSAGUAL farming co-operative in Honduras to ourselves in Belfast.

The COSAGUAL mission is to promote development processes, gender equality and harmony with their environment. To find out more visit"

direct purchase between COSAGUAL Cooperative & Belfast Coffee Roasters


Algrano's core focus is the enabling of direct coffee purchasing between roasters and growers through the algrano platform and transparent communication & pricing between them.




Know the FOB & Farm gate price and message them directly

on the grower's profile at


Allan Botrel of SanCoffee and Veronika Kečkéšová, algrano's QC manager


Team Challenge blending cupping session with Michelé Savi, Patrick Switzer,

Bavo Van Den Broeke & Allan Botrel of SanCoffee


Moving past the technically and philosophically oriented events in the past, these days have been packed with INTENSE invaluable topics. We feel that the calls to action left us with lasting impressions which will have a huge impact on all of us and change the coffee trade as we know it today. Thank you to Coffee Roaster's Guild the speakers, volunteers and all those contributed!


Panel discussion on waste in the coffee industry


We are grateful to be part of this movement and be supported by partners across Europe who believe and support the cause. Thank you! We know this is a complex topic and will not change from one day to another. If everyone in the supply chain contributes their small part we will get there before the coffee price crisis leaves an industry beyond repair.


What are we waiting for?!


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