16/01/24

Going the extra mile for customers

 

Article by: Sue Garnett

 

My relationship with Joh. Johanson extends back many years before I joined ECOM, but it is the strength of ECOM at origin that has kept the special bond between us. 

 


My introduction of Johanson to the ECOM family in the late 1990's was supported by quality alignment from several of our origins, which not only embedded us as a preferred supplier to Joh, but took business away from our competition, when they failed to maintain the required standard. 


As is the nature of our business, even with the sound quality policies in place, arrivals can disappoint. Back in the early 2000’s we shipped 4 containers of  great cupping Guatemalan Huehuetenango to Oslo. Upon roasting, Joh’s machine ground to a sticky halt. some chips of patio tar had found their way into one of the bags and melted inside the Roaster. We had an immediate rejection of the coffee that was still unroasted. Not one to be put off by a needle in a haystack, I asked to be allowed access to their warehouse, with an agreement that if I handpicked the entire container, they would accept the coffee. We have been a regular supplier of Guatemala ever since, even though the buyer has never visited Guatemala.


On another occasion we shipped, unwittingly, a box of sand from Brazil. After a quick assessment of whose insurance was responsible, the contents were taken out to sea and dumped in Norwegian waters.


In 2005-2007 Ethiopia quality in general disappointed, we worked on finding a replacement from elsewhere and we became the beneficiaries of a permanent transfer away from Ethiopia into Costa Rica Fancy Tres Rios, again a contract we have maintained ever since.


Such is Johanson’s  loyalty to suppliers who do a good job that for two decades we failed to get a look in at their Colombia business. Following some poor shipments from their supplier and a fortuitous visit by our Colombia Country Manager on the back of a meeting with Yara in Oslo, we were encouraged to participate in a quality calibration the following year., and a few boxes of business were booked each year, this volume has been growing since 2020 when Raul Vargas joined us as Quality Director, each year visiting Johanson at their factory.


I accompanied the buyers to Huila in 2020 to meet Producers in our RFA supply chains, and show them the site for our new eco mill, and again this year, I joined our Condor team to show them the newly built mill and the excellent field management of Amalia and her team. The buyers flew in to spend time only with ECOM and extended their visit to spend more time over the weekend with our colleagues in Bogota.


Friends and loyal clients grow out of an understanding of their business and going the extra mile.

 

More news

Sustainability Coffee
News
Click to read this article

Deep diving into traceability with the Vietnam SMS team

Chronicles of Michaela’s travels" 2024 edition is now live! After Latin America Last year, she now headed to Vietnam where she travelled with the SMS operations. She will be narrating her trip and experiences through a mini-series which will be shared throughout the rest of the calendar year.

Cocoa
News
Click to read this article

Strengthening the knowledge of cacao producers in Peru

In an effort to promote sustainable improvement in cocoa production, ECOM Peru brought together 70 associated producers in an enriching field event on January 30 and 31 in the Huánuco region.

Sustainability
Stories
Click to read this article

Clean Water Access for Smallholder Farmers in Uganda

In 2021 Kawacom initiated a three-year project in partnership with Taylors of Harrogate with a focus on water, sanitation, and hygiene aimed to support 13,500 farmers and their families in the coffee-growing communities around the Sipi region.

Coffee Cocoa
Stories
Click to read this article

A Transformative Project for Sustainable Farmers

In November 2023, our “Coffee, Cocoa and Climate Change '' project in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation GIZ in Nicaragua was concluded. Read more about it here.

People
Stories
Click to read this article

Gulfood Dubai 2024

It's a wrap! The ECOM Village reopened its doors at the Gulfood in Dubai from the 19th to 23rd February and for the first time as a cross commodity show! Read more about it here.

Innovation
News
Click to read this article

NetZero e EISA anunciam parceria pioneira para construção de uma fábrica de biochar em Machado (MG)

NetZero, green tech francesa pioneira na valorização de resíduos agrícolas em biochar, e EISA café, Empresa Interagrícola S.A. do Grupo ECOM, anunciam a construção de uma fábrica de biochar em Machado (MG).

Coffee Innovation
News
Click to read this article

NetZero and ECOM announce pioneering partnership for large-scale biochar deployment in coffee farming

NetZero, a French start-up pioneering the industrial production of biochar in the tropics, and ECOM Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd., one of the world’s leading traders of agricultural commodities, announce a pioneering partnership to accelerate the large-scale deployment of biochar in coffee farming.

Technology
News
Click to read this article

Future proofing our supply chain

As we celebrate our 175th anniversary, and look to the future, ECOM is delighted to announce our partnership with BanQu, a leading supply chain traceability platform that provides end-to-end auditable and verifiable data collection and reporting.

People Sustainability
Stories
Click to read this article

A day at the Satellite schools in El Salvador

Our team in El Salvador, with help from the ECOM Foundation established a pilot for the Satellite School Program in 2011, for children and adults in rural coffee and cocoa farming communities. Read more about it here.