MILAN – Sustainable Harvest, a U.S.-based specialty-grade green coffee importer who pioneered the Relationship Coffee model has acquired the contracts and trading team of Twin Trading, a UK-based non profit coffee trader that ceased operations last month.
Established in 1985, Twin was a pioneer in trading sustainable coffee produced by smallholder farmers in countries such as Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Thanks to the deal, the former Twin Trading team will continue their work and Sustainable Harvest will be able to open a London office to better serve European customers.
Twin’s insolvency highlights the challenges faced by small independent players in a coffee market increasingly dominated by large retailers and roasters.
“The tremendous concentration of the coffee industry and low prices has made it a very difficult environment for independent enterprises,” said Jorge Cuevas, chief coffee officer for Sustainable Harvest, in an interview with the Financial Times.
“To see Twin Trading and Sustainable Harvest, two longtime champions of producer-focused coffee trading, join forces is a boon to all who believe in different ways of doing business,” Kim Ionescu, chief sustainability officer for the US Specialty Coffee Association said to the FT.