We understand that you may not have time to follow the entire session so we've added some handy quick links to the panelists and some of their key points here. You can watch the video on our site, or click the links to be taken to that particular topic (this will take you to YouTube).
11:51 Adam Overton:
Adam speaks about understanding your business partners and finding a balance in the relationship with a focus on the harvest in Ethiopia. He gives an example of reduced down payments to make sure customers keep buying.
24:51 Nadine Rasch:
Nadine discusses the importance of maintaining good and open communication with suppliers and customers, especially when purchases are lower and many payments are pending. She highlights how extending contracts at origin to get smaller amounts of coffee over a longer period of time can help.
33:12 Morten Wennersgaard:
Morten talks about impacts like delays getting coffees from origin, especially as measures to reduce the spread of the pandemic have been introduced. He highlights the increasing picking costs and their impacts. He also provides some interesting slides with information from a brief customer survey.
50:20 Richard Bliault:
Richard also speaks about the importance of good communication, especially with producers who rarely know the full situation on the buyer's end. Clear and open communication across the supply chain is critical to help everyone adapt and mitigate impact. He points out how this communication can be as simple as a phone call and can help ensure producers keep producing high quality.
1:03:40 Geoff Watts:
Geoff is currently at origin in Colombia and speaks about the vulnerability of producers who are suffering the most across the supply chain historically and how this has increased. He points out that this time presents opportunities e.g. home consumption of higher quality coffee is increasing. He highlights some specific adaptation strategies for retail, like making sure customers feel safe.
1:15:54 Violeta Stevens:
Violetta discusses the uptick Union is experiencing in ecommerce and grocery sales. She talks about the benefits of diversification to mitigate impact/adapt more easily. She explains how Union has adapted processes in the roastery e.g. reduce the range of coffees offered to roast more efficiently, manage stock differently, arrange and communicate with business partners (packaging partner). She also focuses on the importance of good communication.
1:28:20 Q & A:
Questions from attendees.
1:51:40 Closing discussion and statements:
How do the panelists expect COVID to affect coffee prices in the near and longer term?
One terrific takeaway from this panel was the compassion everyone has for their partners across the supply chain and their efforts to work collectively for the best possible outcome for everyone. It was reassuring to hear optimism about the future for their businesses combined up with concrete examples of what is changing and how they are adapting. We thank all the participants for sharing their time and their knowledge. This was the first in a series of expert panels we will pull together. Please watch our social media and newsletters (you can find both below) for details of the next one.