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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2013
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    How to sell imported coffee wholesale in the U.S and as a private small brand


    Hi,

    I am new to Coffee Forum and have been thinking about starting a new business for quite some time. One of the ideas I came up with was to import coffee in the U.S. , in New York. I found a possible connection in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in an area that is not going through war or has any rebel armies there. There are some small farmers there that would like to export their coffee beans, something they have never done.

    Any suggestions, ideas or experiences anyone has had that could be helpful to me would be much appreciated.

    I know nothing about the coffee market.

    Thank you so much!

    Victoria

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2012
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    I have found that it's wise to know a bit about an industry before starting a business in said industry. With no knowledge of importing agricultural items, no connections in the coffee industry and no idea on what constitutes good or bad coffee beans or pricing, I think you might want to walk this idea back a bit.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
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    Feb 2008
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    Near Philadelphia, PA
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    Welcome "darkroast13" (Victoria)

    What is your "possible connection" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Have you visited there and discussed your idea with the farmers?

    How much research into this adventure have you done already? Is this a project you've been working on for a while, or are you just getting started?

    It seems that you're thinking about jumping into something that's bigger than you think. When you wrote that you know nothing about the coffee market, I automatically knew that you're going to need a lot of help. Do you have a partner, or are you planning to do it alone?

    Rose

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2013
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    Hi PinkRose,

    Thank you for your response. I love coffee and I am definitely a coffee drinker- that much I know. Other than that I have done some casual reading on the web. I do not have a partner and will be working solo but know someone from the Democratic Republic of the Congo that knows farmers there. He is visiting his county next month and will send me a sample of the coffee.

    What could I be getting myself into? Can I make money (I'm sure this is very hard work) and help the farmers make a living?? I am not sure...

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2013
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    Hi eldub,

    Thank you for replying to my post. I know someone from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and this person knows farmers that have never exported coffee before. I would be working alone ( I have no partner) and have only done some casual reading on the web about coffee importing/exporting. I love coffee, I am a big coffee drinker and have been thinking for a few years what type of business I could start that would not only make me money but help someone else.

    Any advise would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
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    Hi again, "Darkroast13" (Victoria)

    I guess you need to wait for your friend to visit the farmers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and see what they say. You mentioned that they've never exported coffee before. That may be a challenge all by itself.

    Rose

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    1,215
    Imo, the last piece of the puzzle that needs to be put in place would be the actual coffee. There are farmers in most every coffee producing country who would like to develop export connections. Many are in countries with a better coffee quality reputation and most of them are in countries more stable than the DRC.

    How are you going to grade the beans? By sampling a small batch sent to you from Africa?

    How are you going to transport, store and sell the product?

    No offense, but with your real lack of importing knowledge, coffee knowledge and coffee market knowledge or connections I don't see how this venture can succeed. If you have money it's fairly easy to buy something. Selling it is another story.

    lw

  8. #8
    Administrator
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    Welcome aboard Victoria...

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2012
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    ..... about time.

    I was beginning to think a wheel had fallen off the welcome wagon.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Michigan, US
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    lol Eldub... We go through few times a month about people thinking of making money in coffee importing business.
    I can give you few advise on this but that alone will not make any business viable.

    Victoria,

    If you have not been in coffee industry, please don't think this is developing industry and there are many easy way to make money.
    Coffee is 2nd most traded commodity in the WORLD. And there are many big players in this industry. That alone should discourage you from posting the thread but if you insist on this.
    Here are few things you need to consider before going forward with this.

    1. Who are you dealing with in Congo and are they reliable.
    2. If they are reliable and will be able to follow through with their words
    3. How much coffee can they truly supply a year.
    4. Can they also supply details of their beans
    5. Are they currently selling to wholesaler?
    6. Why are they looking for different source of buyer
    7. What is the price are they getting.

    These are few questions you should ask.
    Also you should ask what is going to be your fair cut from this venture. 5 cents a pound? 10 cents a pound? Do you truly thought you could make a dollar a pound of coffee? Think again.

    The coffee wholesale business is very competitive and there isn't very much money to be made there......

    Good LUck

 

 
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