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Sustainability is key to Touton specialties coffee.

Touton Specialties, one of Blue Butterfly’s main suppliers, is a specialty green coffee importer founded in March 2017 and based in Hamburg, serving coffee roasters of all sizes across Europe.

As part of the Touton Group, which has been active in the coffee, cocoa, and spice trading since 1848, they are constantly on the lookout for outstanding and high-quality nano and micro-lots, farm coffees, and certified coffees from various origins with a current focus on Rwanda, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Colombia.

Through regular trips to the origin countries, they have been able to establish valuable relationships with local producers and farmers in recent years. These direct producer relationships allow them to better understand and respond to the needs of farmers.

They see many challenges facing these vital small communities.

From an economic perspective there are a number of serious issues, such as low productivity due to inefficient practises, small farm size, limited access to inputs and credit and aging coffee trees. High costs of production, such as fertilizer and labour, at farm and washing station level puts further pressure on these small farms. Not to mention the decrease in quality due to lack of local incentives.

There are also social challenges, such as a low standard of living, limited access to financial supports, a gender gap issue and the younger generation’s disinterest in coffee farming.

On these visits they see first-hand the effects of climate change and how it causes land to become unsuitable for coffee production. Extreme & unpredictable weather causes an increase in diseases, this and water scarcity are all significant challenges.

Touton specialties coffee has a number of broad goals to help these farmers and their communities. International awareness if of course one of the main goals. The more these farmers are supported by people buying their coffee the greater their chance of survival.

Though there is more than that involved, improved soil nutrition, improved quality through better equipment and the empowerment of women in these cultures will help everyone. Training is key, encouraging farmer awareness about sustainable organic farming practices and effects on quality & productivity. Enhanced bean quality, improved time management, productivity and motivation of workers, not to mention improved hygiene standards at washing stations.

Touton specialties does more than just talk about these issues, they commit to reinvesting a percentage of their coffee sales into programmes which will have a direct effect on the communities they work with.

Blue Butterfly supports this investment by its commitment to sales and promotion of the Touton specialties programmes.

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