The ways that Al-Ezzi does business in Yemen's coffee market is substantially different from the norm. Here are the main points that make their model appealing to us at Cafe Imports.
- Farmers are paid a high base price for bringing their coffee to Al-Ezzi's own or participating receiving stations, and are given premiums for coffees that meet certain standards of moisture, quantity, and quality selection.
- Coffee farmers are voluntarily issued ID cards, which are used not only as a point of pride and respect but also to keep track of their deliveries and ensure proper, timely payment.
- Each farmer's individual contributions are meticulously recorded, which means the coffees are traceable down to individuals—highly unusual in a country where the average farmer produces less than 100 kilos of cherry.
- Fresh, ripe red cherries earn an additional premium over dried cherries (how coffee is traditionally sold at market), as buying fresh cherries allows Al-Ezzi to ensure ripeness and quality before drying, and to control the drying process for evenness.
Because of this altnerative way of doing business with coffee farmers in Yemen, Al-Ezzi and Cafe Imports are able to offer different "tiers" of product from these growers, who are paid according to their quality and volume.
- Moka Yemeni - Workhorse coffees of reliably good quality purchased as dried cherry and milled in Sana'a at Al-Ezzi's facility. These coffees are a blend of different types and grades of coffees and have limited traceability but a classic Yemen profile.
- Haraaz Traceable - Dried cherries purchased direcly from producers who hold Al-Ezzi–issued producer ID cards in order to allow for both proper distribution of funds and full traceability.
- Haraaz Fresh -Fresh coffee cherries purchased directly from producers in the Sharqui Haraaz microregion, where Al-Ezzi receives coffee at local collection points. Fully traceable through the producer ID cards. Coffee is dried on raised beds and milled in Sana'a.
- Haraaz Red - Fresh cherries purchased directly from producers who have picked or sorted perfectly ripe fruit and delivered it immediately after harvest. Fully traceable through producer ID cards. Coffee is dried on raised beds and milled in Sana'a.
- Haraaz Microlot - Fresh red cherries purchased from a single producer or small cooperative in a quantity great enough (at least 5 bags) to keep isolated and marketed under the grower or growers' name.