23 June 2020
This quarter, Yallah Coffee completed its first importing trip – by wind-powered sailboat – from Colombia to the UK. The three-month, 7,500-nautical-mile journey had a (nearly) zero carbon footprint; typically, shipping containers emit around two tons of carbon. The UK-based brand aimed to source and ship its beans more sustainably than most imported coffee companies. Although Yallah Coffee spent more to use sailboats (rather than the usual transport methods), the company found that it saved money overall: Doing so enabled them to work directly with Colombian growers and cut out the middleman. This also ensured farmers received more money than they would in a typical fair-trade scheme. Each 250-gram bag costs GBP 9.30.
The boat Yallah Coffee used isn’t the lone, little cargo sailboat out there. This alternative to fossil-fueled shipping has been picking up wind! Literally, too! And other brands, besides more niche ones like Yallah, are turning to sailboats. Chocolate Makers, a major player making cacao runs from the Dominican Republic to the Netherlands since 2012, is one such example.
Now, we’re not implying you need to head to your nearest marina. But it’s worth testing out a thoughtful approach like Yallah’s. Shipping by sailboat is just one aspect of the brand’s mission to meet all its priorities: to create a product that’s sustainable, eco-wise and socially, yet still ensure its operations make good business sense. This meant adopting the less-conventional solutions, like the sailboats. Even though (as owner Richard Blake explained) “when you’re running a business it’s so much easier to go down the well-trodden path,” all balancing these needs required was “a little extra planning.”
Truly operating by your values, as a company, doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your financial needs. So as you plan out every aspect of your next innovation – even the not-so-sexy parts, like how you’ll transport it – consider how you can make it boost your brand’s higher purpose.
How can you put in just a little extra effort to make your business logistics and values sing together?
The TrendWatching content team