Hello, and an Update from Cafe Imports
Friends, colleagues, coffee people:
Well, so far we’ve made it through two months of working from home, social distancing, changing protocols, navigating a changing business landscape, and experiencing a real rollercoaster of emotions. Like you, we’ve also been overwhelmed by what feels like a constant barrage of news and information—including updates like this one—from just about everywhere and everyone.
So we’ll try to keep it short.
Cafe Imports is considered an essential business as a supplier of food or agricultural products: As such, we’ve been able to continue to operate with no interruptions throughout this crisis, though we’ve updated many of our systems and procedures for the safety and health of our staff, clients, family, friends, and community.
We’re still working for you and with you, to get you the coffees you need and to help you make significant decisions about the future of your business. The majority of our staff worldwide continues to work from home, with the exception of the sensory analysis department, who are working in shifts and with minimal contact, and our warehouse crew, who are also working in shifts in pairs and exercising the utmost caution when loading, wrapping, and strapping your pallets.
Our green-coffee buyers are still grounded from travel and are all working remotely: They stay in close contact with our producer partners via e-mail, Skype, and WhatsApp. Our on-the ground sourcing and export teams in both Costa Rica and El Salvador are still operating doing development work and exporting coffee during this busy harvest and shipment season. We’ve been sharing video conversations with our green-buyer staff on our Instagram page and YouTube channels, and are regularly making updates to our Status Update: Supply Chain blog post. We’ll continue to do so, and will also share any major new developments via e-mail and through our social media.
While we remain optimistic about all of the coffees that are currently waiting to go AFLOAT from Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Indonesia, and parts of East Africa, we’re also keenly tracking any possible delays. While our sales representatives and supply-chain specialists are working closely to keep you informed, you should also feel free to reach out at any time with questions you might have about specific coffees.
Many of our clients’ businesses have changed virtually overnight, either by adapting to socially distant forms of service, adding or boosting a mail-order or grocery business, or even ceasing operations and wondering, “what now?” We want you to know that we’re here to work with you through all the changes and the uncertainties, and we would love to hear from you whether you have good or difficult news to share.
Coffee has been hit hard—we all have—and we know that it won’t be an easy road the next few weeks, maybe months, but we believe in the resilience of you, our coffee community, and we truly believe that if we work together, coffee will find a way.
Jason Long, CEO