Newsletter: Red Fox Secure Source

Forward Booking Coffee with Red Fox

Starting in 2017, we’d like to offer more of our roaster clients the opportunity to secure the best possible coffees by booking forward. We will be available to meet via phone or skype to review the annual harvest cycle and help interested roasters get a clear picture of what to expect. Planning ahead like this will ensure our roasters access to top-tier quality and leverage their relationship with Red Fox to streamline their buying. We call this Secure Source.

Why do this?

Here are a few of the benefits to booking forward with Red Fox:

More security in accessing the freshest, best quality coffees
Access to better pricing based on an estimated annual volume
Advanced single origin menu and blend component planning
More exclusivity in your market
Potential travel to origin to meet producers in the Red Fox supply chain
A clear perspective on harvest and shipment timing throughout the year
Here at Red Fox, we have been sourcing top quality green coffee for a long time. Our investment and experience at origin is bar none, and our quality control standards are as strict as you’ll find.

We believe Red Fox can be a strong partner to your roasting business, and we want to get to know you better. Working together, we hope to support and grow the strength and capacity your business, as well as the quality of the coffees you buy. It’s unlikely we’ll ever be a one-stop shop for all your green coffee needs. We don’t work in every origin or region, but we are committed to finding the best coffees in the handful of origins we do operate in. We remained focused on specific regions and communities that are underrepresented in the marketplace. And we seek to work in places that have the highest potential to produce extraordinary quality. We use our collective years of experience and our relationships at origin to get lots separated, milled, and shipped quickly and in optimal condition. Delivering these coffees from origin to our customers takes the majority of our time, investment, and planning. This is Red Fox’s role and where we feel we add the most value — we deliver some of the world’s finest coffees to you, in top condition, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Our spot offerings will continue to be top-shelf, showcasing single-producer coffees, separated washing station outturns, and bulk lots in their peak quality from the best regions we work in. Those coffees will be there for you when you need them. But going deeper and planning together has many advantages. Knowing three, six, nine, or even twelve months in advance about the origins you’ll be buying green coffee from helps us dial in quality and pricing to customize our sourcing efforts to your roasting needs. The Red Fox trading team has decades of collective experience planning and forecasting green coffee needs and setting menus for roasting operations, so we are well equipped to bring some ideas to the table.

How does it work?

First, we will schedule time to meet with you, either in person or over the phone, to go over your usage and needs, so that we can create an initial plan of action and framework for contracts. Ideally, we cup coffees together to calibrate our quality expectations. We can do this at our Berkeley lab, or Red Fox can come to you.
Using Red Fox’s harvest calendar for specific harvest/shipment/delivery timelines, we set a target plan for one or multiple origins. Forward booking with Red Fox will give you better pricing and access to coffees before they become available as spot offerings.
Together we come up with an agreed upon “spread,” or drawdown of coffee, over a specific period of time. This initial agreement or “target source plan” is non-binding and will set only price parameters.
A second conversation will be scheduled in which we will draft up forward contracts. Lot specifics and pricing will be finalized at the time of booking, usually 2 to 4 months ahead of coffee delivery.
Pre-ship samples are then forwarded directly to you for your approval. We can also send arrival samples upon request, although contracts will be subject to pre-shipment approval in most cases.
Starting in January, what origins can we book forward for the year ahead?

In order of harvest and delivery timeline:

Ethiopia >> Kenya >> Guatemala >> Colombia >> Rwanda >> Peru

harvest: Nov-Jan
shipment: Feb/Mar-Jun
delivery/menu usage: Apr/May-Dec

harvest: Oct-Jan
shipment: Feb/Mar – May
delivery/menu usage: May-Dec

harvest: Mar-Jul
shipment: Aug-Oct
delivery/menu usage: Nov-Apr

harvest: May-Jan
shipment: Jul-Feb
delivery/menu usage: Sep-Jun

harvest: May-Sep
shipment: Oct-Nov
delivery/menu usage: Dec-May

harvest: May-Oct
shipment: Sep-Dec
delivery/menu usage: Nov-May

harvest: May-Sep
shipment: Sep-Nov
delivery/menu usage: Nov-May

harvest: Dec-Feb
shipment: Mar-May
delivery/menu usage: May-Nov

harvest: Dec-Mar
shipment: Mar-Jun
delivery/menu usage: May-Dec

If you have interest in continuing the conversation with us about forward booking, please get in touch at

Cheers and Happy New Year,

Red Fox Coffee Merchants

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