Transparency and equity are big ideas in the world of specialty coffee, and they are two principles most coffee companies try to act upon. But for many, especially small roasters, where to even begin to achieve these objectives can be a bit of a black box. To help, Junior’s Roasted Coffee has created the Cost of Production Covered template. Completely free to use and fully customizable, the CoPC template helps green buyers from companies of all sizes determine how much a coffee actually costs in order to make sure those are producing it are fairly paid.

As explained on their website, Junior’s believes that “all businesses involved in a coffee supply stream should profit from transactions” and that “contract prices should be based on something more meaningful than quality-based metrics alone;” the cost of production also needs to be a factor. The CoPC template is a means to help find out what that true cost is. The questionnaire can be sent to importing and/or producer partners to determine their costs as the starting point for negotiating a fair—and profitable—price.

advert but first coffee cookbook now available


Coming in the form of a Google Doc, the questionnaire is a “starting point for building accountability and equity into the supply stream.” And because there is no one-size-fits-all in coffee buying, neither is there a single template that will be able to handle all coffee buying relationships. That’s why Junior’s is allowing for the template to be copied and edited to include questions best suited for the buyer’s particular needs. Users are also able to customize it with their own unique logos, and Junior’s has provided a Spanish version of the template for ease of use.

The CoPC template is completely free for any and all to use. They do ask, though, that anyone who uses it acknowledge Junior’s as the project’s creator as well as adopt their “mission of collaboration.”

Junior’s Roasted Coffee’s Cost of Production Covered template is not the end-all-be-all of equity in coffee buying, it’s not plug and play. But it is a starting point, the beginning of a conversation and (hopefully) a profitable relationship for all parties involved. For smaller companies and younger buyers, it can be a blueprint for what developing equity might look like and what are the right sort of questions that need to be asked. For more information, visit Junior’s Roasted Coffee’s official website.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.