In this episode, Meister ponders out loud whether price transparency is a two-headed monster: As a business practice, it is a pivotal weapon in the fight for increased equity along the supply chain, but as a marketing asset… could it be more of a liability? And most importantly, to whom?
Drawing a fine line between these two, Meister asks some challenging questions (which certainly have no easy answers) about three key areas that will help us determine whether our marketing of price transparency is ethical: consent, context, and consequence. She's joined by third-generation coffee producer Ashley Prentice; the founder of Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, Tadesse Meskela; and business professor Peter Roberts, founder and project lead of the Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide.
Meister says, "There's no doubt in my mind that price transparency is the way forward toward equity and sustainability in the coffee industry, but—and it's a big but—the question about how we talk about that price transparency is another thing altogether. I know in my heart that coffee people are acting with the best intentions when they publish their FOB or farm-gate prices, but have we really critically considered the impact of sharing this data? I'm on a mission to find out, and I hope this episode will spark some good, challenging conversations about it all. I love feedback because I'm not afraid to be wrong—in fact, this is one case in which I'm really afraid to be right!