*In honor of the world’s coffee farmers and how hard they work. Their labor, we should never take for granted.*
When we first sat down and began thinking about what we wanted to say and how we wanted to say it, we were struck by the true dissonance that was being represented between the reality of coffee farming, and what has, for the most part, been told.
When something is a hard-truth, it is usually included in marketing, but in a way that is best for the consumer and not the source. i.e. the “poor coffee farmer” marketing. In finding our voice, we thought this was an important place to start: market reality and trust that the person you are marketing to will catch up — I know what you’re thinking, and yes, we didn’t learn that in marketing school. But marketing goes through waves like this, you know.
What was once alienating is now standard and that’s a good thing. Some realities are still making it to the coffee community and until they do, it’s bold messaging and hopes that you galvanize more than you polarize.
Take environmental marketing for example. What was once very offensive messaging has become in fact necessary to include in your branding. This is a very good thing. Something we should celebrate, not criticize when other companies try the same thing. Where it becomes tricky, is greenwash marketing. And this goes for anything that you romanticize or worse, pretend you’re doing better than you really are.
We want to enthuse, not manipulate our customers. We want to give a real picture of what the world of buying coffee is like; the reality: it’s still a poor one.
We aren’t cynical or hopeless about this. But we’d be damned to avoid the hard-truths. The world of coffee is a beautifully complex one and in no need of glamour, neither positively nor negatively. It is full of romance, and it isn’t.
It’s just as easy to get caught in the glory of Guatemalan mountains as it is the poverty that surrounds you.
A boot then is not just a boot, it symbolizes something much greater: hard work, connected to the source, the beginnings of something, grassroots. And it’s no Doc Martins; it’s rubber agriculture boots.
That’s the foundation of the coffee you sip on, a rubber boot. Romantic, isn’t it?