One of the local suppliers The Island Jar works with is Espanola Coffee Roasters, located in Espanola, Ontario (30 minutes from Manitoulin Island). The founder, Dan, started this business in 2016 out of a passion for high quality, freshly roasted coffee that he was unable to find in his immediate area. The response to his coffee has been excellent and has motivated him to grow his production from a passion project to an established and growing business.
Espanola Coffee Roasters’ Values
“At Espanola Coffee Roasters, we value the entire supply chain, from the artisan farmers and producers growing our coffee and processing it with care - to our importer who deals with the farmers, offers respect and pays them well for their hard work - to the roaster who tries to bring out the flavour characteristics intrinsic to the coffee - to the retailer who is making it easy for you to buy a great product. The process from bean to cup is a complicated one, so we have to do our part to make sure everyone is taken care of, or else great coffee may not be around for us to enjoy.”
Dan works with a coffee importer in British Columbia, Mountain Coffee, who shares Dan’s values and ensures the farmers who are growing and harvesting the green coffee beans are earning a fair price for their work. Dan loves to share his knowledge and educate people on the process of growing, harvesting & roasting coffee, as well as the importance of Fairtrade and ensuring everyone in the supply chain is looked after.
The Fairtrade Movement
According to Fairtrade Canada:
“Just as we are dependent on coffee to get through a hard day’s work, it is also the most valuable and widely traded tropical agricultural product. Around 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihoods, however, many of the 25 million small holder farmers who produce 80% of the world’s coffee fail to earn a reliable living. …
Fairtrade was started in response to the dire struggles of Mexican coffee farmers following the collapse of world coffee prices in the late 1980s. With Fairtrade, certified coffee producer organisations are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their coffee, which aims to cover their costs of production and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level. Through their producer organisations, farmers also receive the additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in business or community improvements and must use at least 25% of it to enhance productivity and quality, for example by investing in processing facilities. In 2013-14, Fairtrade coffee farmer organizations received over $70 million in Fairtrade Premium. They invested around half in improving the infrastructure, facilities and processes in their organizations.”
Supporting Sustainability in the Coffee Industry
Espanola Coffee Roasters donates funds to World Coffee Research, a not for profit organization. Their mission statement is to:
"Grow, protect, and enhance supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it".
Espanola Coffee Roasters is certified through Fairtrade Canada and they are working on becoming Certified Organic. Fairtrade Canada helps farmers in the commodity coffee market by setting a minimum price/lb of coffee to protect against market fluctuations.
The Perfect Brew
At The Island Jar, we carry Dan's Colombia, Guatemala & Honduras beans, as well as our personal favourite (we might be biased) The Island Jar House Blend! All beans we carry are Fairtrade Certified & Organic. To keep the beans as fresh as possible, Dan roasts the coffee in small batches and we only carry whole beans; thanks to Dan we have a grinder on site so you can grind your freshly roasted beans however you like (e.g. for a drip machine, french press, espresso, etc.)!
If you’re on Manitoulin Island, stop by our shop downtown Little Current to try a cup of Dan’s delicious coffee, or grab a bag to take home and enjoy!