The FoxholeOct 21, 2021
The New Normal: Q4 2023
Here we are in the final quarter of 2023, & things are looking relatively stable for a change—or at least as close as we’ve gotten in a few years. On top of stabilizing logistics & the C market, Peru containers have started landing with Colombia & Rwanda close behind. Listen for details on the state of logistics, the C market, & every country in which we work.
C Drops, Price Volatility Heading Into Peru Season: Q3 2023
As we enter Q3, the C market is down with further drops possible on the horizon, while its volatility continues to create complexity. Local prices that have been elevated for years are now beginning to follow suit as the all-important Peru season concretizes, but again, volatility plays a key role. Our warehouses are flush with the latest & greatest as well as a diversity of prime lots from the 22-23 crops, holding their own on quality & priced to move in order to make room for newcomers. As always there are plenty of wrinkles domestically & across the coffee world, which we’ll delve into in depth.
Ethiopia, Mexico On the Way Amid Normalizing Logistics: Q2 2023
As we head into the second quarter of 2023, many threads from the beginning of the year remain. Logistics continue normalizing but are still tangled in various ways & regions—not quite returned to pre-disruption but overall, trending positively. The C market tentatively remains more stable, while differentials in our actual sourcing relationships remain largely untethered to it. Mexico season is coming in strong despite labor shortages due to & causing inflation, an issue in Guatemala as well. While logistical challenges remain in Ethiopia at large, our Ethiopia containers are all afloat. Spring has sprung & the coffees that this season conjures in our minds will be here soon. Details on all of this & more.
The Great C Market Schism: Q1 2023
As we wrap Peru acquisition & shipping season, begin Ethiopia procurement, & prep the lab in Mexico, we’re seeing some distinct trends continue from 2022. For one, logistics challenges including prices & availability have continued to ease, although the situation is still more complex & expensive than it was pre-2020/21. Another key trend, which we noted in our last update & which has become more pronounced than ever, is the decoupling of the C market price (down substantially from its peak) from the prices we’re actually seeing at origin for top quality coffee in the tiers we purchase, which in many cases are higher than ever. Listen for more specifics & analysis on that, as well as origin detail.
Staying the Course While Staying Agile: Q4 2022
As we enter the final quarter of the year, logistics issues & price volatility persist & staying the course while remaining agile is the name of the game. The story of this particular moment seems to be that even when the C market dips—it’s notably both high & volatile as it’s been all year—local prices, especially for top-tier quality, remain astronomical. Solid relationships & communication, from the farm level to logistics, are key. Listen for more on logistics, market dynamics, & in-country activity at origin.
Q3 2022: Looking Towards Great Peru Season Amid Complex Logistics, Competitive Acquisitions Market
Red Fox Coffee Merchants Q3 2022 Origin & Shipping Update
Q2 2022: Ukraine War Increases C Market Volatility, Worsens Supply Chain Crisis
Red Fox Coffee Merchants Q2 2022 Origin & Shipping Update
Q1 2022: C Market Volatility, Complex Logistics & Ethiopia Civil Unrest Spill Over Into Q1
Red Fox Coffee Merchants Q1 2022 Origin & Shipping Update
Q4 2021 Red Fox Coffee Merchants Origin & Shipment Update
Hello friends, coming to you with our final quarterly origin and shipment update of the year as we enter the home stretch of 2021. This report will cover some broad strokes and some details in all the origins in which we work, whether their coffee is on the water, heading to the mill, in harvest, or still looking towards its next flowering.
The Foxhole: Casimiro García López (Spanish)
In this episode we are joined by special guest Casimiro García López and his son Omar of Pluma de Oaxaca. A second generation coffee farmer, Casimiro and his wife Reyna Petronila Luna farm 20 hectares (an unusually large farm for Pluma region) just outside San Agustin Loxicha, a community growing both coffee famous for its malic character and avocados. Casimiro's older children support in both farm work and marketing, contributing agronomic knowledge learned in local courses. In the off-season, the family works as blacksmiths. He's been one of the most consistent parts of our Oaxaca coffee community year over year, and we're excited for you to meet him.
The Foxhole: Prudencio Saenz Vargas of Valle Inca, Peru
Join Ali and Aleco for a conversation in the Foxhole with Prudencio of Valle Inca association in Cusco. The widely respected leader of one of our most key relationships in all of Peru, Prudencio (Jose Prudencio Saenz Vargas) is a Calca native who brings former experience as a bank loan officer to his work running Valle Inca—fiscal experience of critical importance to Valle Inca and the surrounding community, most of whom are smallholders averaging just 2-3 hectares each. When he got started he was new to coffee production, but his extreme quality focus has always been key to the group’s success. He helped Valle Inca producers move from drying coffee on plastic mats to raised beds, worked to improve drying, fermentation, and storage practices, and was the first producing partner of ours to implement GrainPro in storing parchment. He meets farmers where they are in the isolated reaches of Yanatile and Lares and works with them to produce the best coffee they possibly can.
The Foxhole: Ernesto Perez of Coatepec, Veracruz
In this episode we host a conversation between Veracruz-based producer, wet mill manager and community leader Ernesto Perez and Red Fox Mexico sourcing and sales lead Adam McClellan. After Ernesto takes off, Adam and Aleco give us the rundown on the season thus far. A younger farmer taking over the family farm and mill, he's working to guide community production into high quality specialty, tweak processing, focus on microlots, and help those around him get the best prices their work. He expanded his own wet mill at Finca Fatima into APG Coffee, a micro wet mill for the community that also offers agronomic consulting for other farmers to help rebuild soils and increase quality.
The Foxhole: Esperanza Dionisio (Spanish)
In this episode we had a conversation with Esperanza Dionisio, leader of the Pangoa cooperative in Peru's Selva Central and first ever woman cooperative leader in Peru. We discussed Esperanza's unique position in the Peru coffee world, the singular history of Pangoa, and the impacts of Covid-19 on the most recent harvest and shipping season. Esperanza is an incredible speaker and a powerful voice for gender equity.
Eden Kassahun & Aleco Live from Addis, Ethiopia
Eden Kassahun is one of Red Fox's most integral supply chain partners and has been since we opened in the business in 2014. Eden and Aleco's history together goes back to her days at Technoserve where they first met in 2009. Eden helps us manage our supply partnerships with Kata Muduga, Kerchanshe, and Kedir Jebril. Her role couldn't be more critical to our success in executing early shipments as she manages much of the detail internally in Ethiopia as it pertains to transportation and logistics. Aleco also gives us the lowdown on how our Ethiopia season is shaking out on the whole.
The Foxhole: Jean Bosco & Longin of Dormans Rwanda
Aleco and Julia had a conversation on the recent harvest, history, and future in Rwanda. They talk with Dormans Rwanda Country Manager Jean Bosco Seminega and Dormans Rwanda Operations Manager Longin Muhizi. Aleco has known both Jean Bosco and Longin for over a decade, well before Red Fox was formed and the two of them joined Dormans. Watch this episode to learn more about their histories in Rwanda coffee as well as the intricacies of the 2020 season.
Tibed Yujra of Puno, Peru (Español)
In this episode we have a convo with Tibed Yujra of Putina Punco in Puno, Peru on the current season, current events in Puno and Peru at large, and effects of Covid-19 on this remote producing region. A man who hardly needs an introduction, Tibed is family. A Putina Punco native, we met in Puno well over a decade ago, and after leaving Puno to do QC work around the world, he spent years helping us deepen our sourcing relationships and hone our logistics in Peru. Last year, he started his own association in Puno called Asocacion De Pequeños Productores De Cafe De Los Valles De Sandia, helping local producers maximize quality potential as well as their market share and ensuring that the prices buyers pay make it all the way back to farming families as promised.
The Foxhole: Marilu López Padilla (Español)
In this episode we had conversation with Marilu Lopez Padilla of Northern Peru-based cooperative Coopbam on the state of the harvest, her history producing coffee, the effects of the pandemic, and what women leadership looks like in Coopbam.
The Foxhole: Colombia Producer Roundtable (Español)
In this episode, we hosted a Colombia producers roundtable with some of our longest-standing producing partners in the world: Geovanny Liscano from Asorcafe in Inzá, Colombia, Raquel Lasso of FUDAM in Nariño, Colombia, and Red Fox’s own Fabian Viveros León of Pitalito in Huila, Colombia.
The Foxhole: What Does Reopening Retail Look Like
In this episode we explore the current and future retail landscape and the challenges it presents, as well as what reopening could look like, with some of the most innovative cafe owners from around the country including Eileen Rinaldi of Ritual Coffee Roasters, Erica Escalante of Café Reina (formerly The Arrow Coffeehouse), Mark Capriotti of ReAnimator Coffee Roasters, and Kyle Glanville of G&B and GGET.
The Foxhole: Limitations of FOB
In this episode we explore the limitations of FOB pricing as a benchmark, discuss how we pay for coffee, and talk through any questions you have around coffee pricing.
The Foxhole: Pluma
In this episode, Aleco, Adam, Joel, Ali, and Zach focus on Pluma de Oaxaca and swap stories with George Howell and Ric Rhinehart.
The Foxhole: Asnake Nigat of Kata Muduga, Agaro Ethiopia
This episode features Asnake Nigat of the Kata Muduga Cooperative Union in Agaro, Ethiopia. We talk about Covid-19 and current events in Ethiopia as well as explore Agaro specialty coffee history, in which Asnake has been instrumental.