We work hard to ensure Wide Awake is a positive, socially beneficial and environmentally conscious project. For our team, the coffee farmers we work with and the local community we serve.
Even at our small scale, our coffee purchases can improve lives at coffee origin countries. So we source our coffee outside exploitative market systems and instead pay high premiums, anywhere from 2-7x the “fair-trade” FOB price. We avoid the term Direct Trade as we feel it’s an oversimplification of a complex chain. Coffee is cultivated as a cherry, processed, milled & bagged, stored, exported and imported. It’s rarely the case that a roaster can buy dried green coffee from a farmer directly. We work with a select amount of highly transparent specialty importers and cooperatives. These partners are embedded in coffee growing countries, support and advise local communities and help us ensure the work of farmers, cooperatives, washing stations and everyone involved is fairly remunerated.
At a local level we organise monthly cuppings and special events. Inclusivity is key here. These events are open to everyone and are mostly free. Our aim is to introduce more people to specialty coffee. If more people appreciate good coffee and are willing to pay a fair price, we can have a bigger impact for farmers in origin countries.
We are aware that our coffees have an environmental footprint, traveling halfway across the world just to reach us. We cannot fundamentally change that but we can and do make sure that our local activities do not add any unnecessary emissions. We deliver our coffee to local wholesale customers in reusable buckets and use 100% recyclable CO2 neutral packaging for retail bags. Under our Green Deal, all coffees are 5% off if customers bring their own container to our shop in Brussels. Our Atelier is powered by 100% Belgian renewable electricity through our cooperation with Bolt.