An Update on Sourcing Travel in the Time of COVID-19

Posted on December 16th, 2020

To our dearest friends, exporters, cuppers, mill managers, associations, cooperatives and most of all, to the farmers, producers and caficultores of the world  — we miss you. 

At Cafe Imports, one of our company’s values is to share — share our ideas, share our knowledge, share our passion through example, and share in our experiences with our partners and peers. We cherish the opportunity to visit you and share a cup of coffee with you at your home, at the mill, or in the community. 

However, we know that some of you have lost family members and loved ones, and we have felt that pain alongside you: We have seen first-hand the devastating impacts that Covid-19 has had in your communities. 

We know that travel is one of the risk factors of continuing to spread this disease, and we believe it is our responsibility to help stop that spread. 

Our green-buying team has not traveled since April of this year, and will not be traveling for the foreseeable future. We will continue to work with you remotely, and look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship even through this difficult, strange time. This will remain our policy until significant progress has been made to end this global pandemic, and we will update all of our partners quickly when there is any change. 


At Cafe Imports, we have adapted to new realities in the way that we operate, and the specialty-coffee industry has shown its resilience and ability to adapt to particularly challenging conditions. 

While our industry is nowhere near back to normal and many companies face uncertainties about the future, we see glimmers of hope. Just as our relationship with you is the most significant part of the work we do, the same is true of our relationships with the roasters who buy your coffee: We have stayed in close contact with our customers and will continue to support your relationships with them, as they continue to innovate, progress, and find new ways to operate within an ever-changing landscape of restrictions and new regulations. 

The majority of our customer base is made up of passionate, engaged, diverse, and small- and id-size coffee roasting companies around the world. Our customers’ cafés and roasteries are places for community, inspiration, and conversation — all fueled by the specialty coffees that you produce. 

These are people at the “front lines” of our cultures and societies, engaging with the coffee drinkers of the world and whose business thrive on interaction and customer service. 

Relationships have been at the heart of everything we do as an independently owned company from the very beginning. Now, more than ever, we are thankful for the relationships that we have built with you over the past 27 years. The combination of trust and partnership we share with you, the dedication and hard work from our staff, and the support and adaptability of our customers has been a constant force of inspiration throughout a historic time of great uncertainty. 

Thank you for your continued partnership through this difficult year and all the years before—and hopefully many to come. We can’t wait for the day when we will be able to share that cup of coffee with you in person, and we wish you continued health in the meantime.