Coffee supply chain

Coffee supply chains:
everything about the movement of your coffee

Coffee supply chains are the backbone of the coffee market. The quality and pricing of coffee heavily depend on the structure of each unique coffee chain. The main questions being: who does what, when, and at which cost?

As a green coffee importer, we stand in the middle to manage entire coffee chains. We oversee and orchestrate every movement. And because we oversee each mile and actor in the chain, we can move green coffee in a time and cost-efficient way. From the coffee farm to your coffee roastery.

Take a deep dive into the inner workings of coffee supply chains.

    The structure of the coffee chain

    All coffee origins differ from each other, and no coffee chain is the same. Coffee from Colombia may find little obstructions while en route, whereas a coffee from Ethiopia may meet more challenges along the way. However diverse, we assembled a basic supply chain you often find in one of our key-origins, Ethiopia. Learn how a typical washed coffee moves through the chain. It all starts in origin.


    of supply-chain

    1. 1. Coffee smallholder

      Coffee is a family business in Ethiopia. Entire families pick red ripened cherries from their small 1-hectare yards where coffee trees perfectly mingle with the dense forest canopy.
    2. 2. Collection point

      When the smallholders swooped their plots multiple times during harvest, they bag the cherries and bring them to a collection point. Usually, the washing station. But if the small farm is remote, a local collector arranges the transport to the station.
    3. 3. Coffee washing station

      At the washing station, coffee processors de-pulp the cherries. After pulping, the green coffee bean, with the parchment still attached, remains. The coffee ferments in large bins filled with cool water. And after an average of 48 hours, the processors wash and move the coffee to the drying beds.
    4. 4. Dry mill

      After drying the parchment for 7 to 10 days on average, the processors bag the coffee and transports the lot to an Addis Ababa-based dry mill. With the parchment removed, the beans are ready for grading by weight sieves and color machines.
    5. 5. Coffee Exporter

      Exporters in Ethiopia usually have their dry mill operation and storage warehouses in place. Besides establishing contact with growers and even owning washing stations, exporters arrange export documents and correspond with coffee importers on loading and shipping coffee.

    What happens in transit and in a warehouse near you?

    Up till now, all coffee logistics movements happened in origin. Now let’s follow the bean from transit to a warehouse near you.



    of supply-chain

    1. 1. Shipping line

      Containers packed with beans find their way to the designated cargo ship to cover the distance between origin and consuming countries.
    2. 2. Coffee Warehouse

      Warehouses offer affordable, safe, and often climate-controlled storage space for large quantities of green coffees. Here, your coffee is safely stored until you decide to pick it up or have it delivered.
    3. 3. Trabocca

      A coffee importer takes a key position between coffee origins and consuming countries. As Trabocca, we oversee each step. From selecting coffees per washing station, checking the quality and food safety thoroughly throughout the chain, to executing a suitable transportation lead time (TLT).
    4. 4. You

      And finally, we deliver coffee to your doorstep.

    Discover our coffee supply chains

    Coffee supply chains can be either straightforward or more complex like you see in the example above. Whatever the case, we specialize in optimizing coffee chains so you get coffee on time for a suitable price. Sign up for our newsletter and discover every coffee we offer.