Two Banbridge coffee entrepreneurs have returned from an epic 12-day fact-finding mission in the Central American country of Guatemala.
Gregg Radcliffe and Mark Anderson, owners of Ristretto Coffee Roasters in Banbridge, travelled more than 1,000 miles over rugged countryside by bus, boat and small aircraft to look for new products and forge a closer relationship with the farmers who produce their coffee beans.
Mr Anderson said: “We wanted to spend time with farmers we are currently supporting and discover new growers who produce exceptional coffee.” Mr Radcliffe added: “While there we sampled new products and new coffee from different farms — they had upped the standard of coffee.”
They plan to return on a regular basis and believe many other businesses could benefit from taking such trips to source new products and strengthen ties with suppliers.
The visit also gave them an insight into the hard work and community involvement that goes into producing coffee.
Pickers were well paid by Guatemalan standards, receiving on average 50 Quetzal — the equivalent of £4 per day for collecting 45kg of coffee cherries.