Will Corby is Pact’s resident Head of Coffee. Will is responsible for sourcing, cupping and roasting the coffee that makes it to the lips of coffee lovers across the country. At The Larder, we’ve recently partnered with Pact and now stock their freshly roasted speciality coffee at each of our locations. See our recent blog post on the decision to move to Pact.
We caught up with Will to chat about all-things coffee and to find out more about Pact as a business and their mission to make the industry a better place.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
In a nutshell, my main responsibility at Pact is to build relationships with coffee farmers across the world and to source the best coffee possible so that the consumer can enjoy daily moments of joy. Coffee is ethically sourced through our Three Phase Programme and we’re proud to pay farmers an average of 65% above the Fairtrade base price.
I oversee every step of the supply chain from identifying farms with potential to coaching them on speciality coffee right the way through to transportation, finance and operations. Once we receive the packages of green coffee at our Surrey roastery, we will then cup, roast and grind the coffee to the best standard possible. Each bag of speciality coffee we sell leaves our roastery no more than 7 days after roasting, so it’s ultra fresh.
The way that Pact sources coffee is pretty unique. Talk us through the process
Over the past 7 years, we have built direct relationships with over 130 farmers across 9 countries. These relationships positively impact hundreds of lives and lead to families having more sustainable and reliable income than they would earn selling their coffee to the commodity market. We build relationships with farmers who would positively benefit from entering the speciality coffee market and give them the advice, resources and tools needed to produce quality coffee with unique flavour notes and characteristics. Once we have established strong relationships, we’ll look to continue purchasing coffee. Most of the farmers we work with today, we have longstanding relationships with.
We’re now in the fortunate position of having a network of talented farmers across the world who each produce truly amazing coffee.
Tell us a little bit about the coffees featuring on The Larder menu
Fruit and Nut Espresso is a fantastic blend from Brazil and Rwanda. It is grown by farmers Flávio and José Carlos Reis and the BUF Coffee Cooperative and features notes of milk chocolate, dried fruit and nuts. This blend is perfect for espresso-based drinks such as flat whites and cappuccinos.
We are proud to source the coffee for this blend from two locations. Flávio and José Carlos Reis run Rancho Grande together, a father and son team. The mission of the farm is to responsibly produce coffee of the highest possible quality, whilst protecting the environment and caring for the well-being of its employees. The BUF Coffee Cooperative is a washing station that comprises and represents several small coffee farms in the south of Rwanda and is responsible for the delicious Umurage, which makes up the other half of this Espresso blend. It’s owned and operated by Epiphanie Mukashyaka and provides social and economic support to 4608 women in the region. We have longstanding relationships with both of these producers.
Decaf Asomuprisma is a delicious coffee with hints of dark chocolate and candied citrus fruit. It’s grown by Asomuprisma Women’s Association – the only female-led coffee farming group in the Huila region of Colombia.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our decaffeinated coffee. Most decaf coffee tastes terrible as it is only sent for decaffeination way past its freshness peak. We send Asomuprisma for decaffeination the moment it lands so that it’s just as fresh and quality-assured as our caffeinated coffee selection. We use the Carbon Dioxide Method to decaffeinate our coffee which we believe is the best method to protect the flavour of the coffee.
Asomuprisma Women’s Association is made up of 22 female producers. The Association is making a tangible difference to the lives of women in Colombian farming communities by offering opportunities for women in farming, teaching workshops in coffee quality and challenging gender inequity. We are proud to be actively working with this organisation, by purchasing large volumes of their wonderful coffee and helping to share their story with the Pact community.
What is Pact’s overall goal when it comes to coffee?
We want to make coffee better for everyone, better for businesses, better for coffee farmers and better for the planet. To this end, we champion sustainable farming practices, pay farmers great prices for great coffee and build long-lasting relationships at origin. The more coffee we sell, the more farmers we can help and the more delicious coffee we can share with UK coffee lovers and businesses. For more details about how we’re transforming the industry for the better, I really recommend taking a look at our latest Transparency Report. The report offers a deep dive into the problems with the current coffee industry and how we’re actively working to tackle them.
Why are you looking forward to working with The Larder?
When partnering with anyone – whether that’s the growers, suppliers or coffee shops – we’re looking for passion, care and attention to detail and The Larder certainly ticks those boxes! The knowledge and love for coffee is clear to see when chatting with the team. Senior Baristas like Minka and Eva know what goes into producing speciality coffee, from origin to roast, and as result, they take their role in serving it seriously. The coffee is in very safe, expert hands.
I’m also really excited about the focus on filter coffee happening at the Larder in Wanstead. We have a tendency to neglect filter coffee in this country – particularly in hospitality – so it’s great to see The Larder giving it so much emphasis.
To learn more about Pact Coffee and the company’s vision, visit pactcoffee.com.