Coffee farmers are most often underpaid. Paying farmers less than a subsistent wage for their coffee is an unethical business practice. It's exploitation. Paying farmers a living wage is one part of our core distinctive (that being people, place, coffee...). Buying direct from the farm is a way to ensure a living wage.
The key to breaking the rules is not buying into the dominate narratives & practices that seem to dictate what life should be like, how we live our life together, how we treat customers, prospects and all other people and how we consume products and utilize services.
The idea that technological advancement would somehow benefit the average worker did not consider human greed and the ever increasing edge of the adjacent possible. But technological advancement is in place to reshape how we work, further innovation around how a community invests in itself, how a community relieves the crushing burden of debt, how a community owns real property.
Over the last two years of operating our fledgling espresso bar, we are beginning to have a good handle on what to expect in terms of sales growth, costs, and profitability. As we move through re-opening and when we begin to confidently say "post-pandemic" we still have a lot to learn about the new normal. The living wage goals are a significant contributor to the decision to raise prices over the next couple of months.