As one of our coffee farmers, Fernando, puts it, "El café une la planeta", meaning coffee unites the world, it brings people together. At Daisuke, we know exactly where each bean was grown, who harvested it and how it made its way to the consumer's cup. We even know the farmers and their families well, shaking hands and talking to them from time to time. They are our friends.
We take care of them, pay a fair price for the beans, support the development of the farms and children's education, and in return we get high quality products within the specialty coffee category, through a controlled, transparent and sustainable system.
We believe that we do not want to exploit those we know. Our fair trade systemserves both the producer and the customer. We build a community of individuals and companies who care about quality and the mission behind the product, the "purpose".
The shared passion of Daisuke and Szabolcs
Our company is named after Daisuke Tanaka, the Japanese master of coffee tasting and former judge of the Cup of Excellence, a competition for the best coffees on the planet. His partner Szabolcs Szelei decided to dedicate his days to sustainable, socially just and quality coffee after successful decades as a senior executive in multinational companies. Daisuke and Szabolcs share a passion for finding the best coffees in the world and bringing them to their customers.
That's how they discovered the organic farms of Eudoro, Fernando, Felipe, Luiz, Samuel and Sergio in the prime coffee-growing regions of Latin America. Small and medium-sized farms are geared towards achieving excellence rather than mass production. Our shrubs are perched on steep slopes at 1,100 to 2,000 metres, the temperature at this altitude is most conducive to the sugar content of the beans. They are sheltered by scattered tree canopies, and more than 5-6 hours of direct sunlight per day would be detrimental.
The principles of our social mission
Exploitation is a sad part of coffee production. Child labor is part of everyday life, and children do not even go to school during harvest time. But child labor is nonexistent on Daisuke farms. Why? We pay a fixed amount, several times the world market price per kilo of beans, so not only do we pay the farm workers a decent wage, but we also support the children's education.
In our experience, obtaining fair trade certification places a heavy financial and administrative burden on farmers, but once the certification is awarded, the issuers lack the capacity to continuously monitor whether the principles of worker protection are being implemented in practice. We do, however, continuously monitor compliance with the rules.
Infrastructural improvements are essential on these farms, and the high price paid for coffee allows for these efforts. One way to make a serious difference is to improve biodiversity. Coffee production is traditionally monocultural, which exhausts the land and does not provide workers with work in the off-season. Our friend Felipe has dedicated his life to polycultural production, and his method is already used on nearly 100 farms. The 24 varieties of crops grown on the farms provide food, work and income for the people, as well as nutrients for the land.
The path of the beans is completely transparent. We deal personally with the farmers, the money paid goes entirely to them, there are no other traders or distributors in the chain. We give our corporate partners, the companies that order from us, the opportunity to contact the farmers, learn about their lives, their needs and the coffee itself.
Our namesake, Daisuke Tanaka, was born in Japan, the capital of sophisticated modern coffee consumption. He recognized early on that he had a special talent for coffee tasting and, because his talent was recognized by others, he was selected to be on the jury of the world's most prestigious international coffee competition, the Cup of Excellence. It was at one of these events that he met Sergio Ortez from Nicaragua, who came to the competition with his own coffee.
The two men, both the same age, formed a friendship that has lasted to this day. Daisuke asked Sergio if he could spend a few weeks on his farm. During his stay in Central America, the Japanese expert learned a lot about growing, harvesting and processing coffee, and he taught the farmer the art of cupping, or tasting. As well as learning the trade, Daisuke also discovered the difficulties that farmers face. The biggest problem is the fluctuating price of coffee, which makes farmers' livelihoods precarious.
Daisuke has developed a plan for direct trade, which will keep more money in farmers' pockets and provide predictability and security. At the same time, farmers must also adhere to strict rules on quality and sustainability. Child labor is banned, workers are paid a premium wage compared to other farms, and the highest possible quality is required in production and processing.
Sergio introduced his friend to several Central American producers who are also frequent participants in coffee competitions and a collaboration began. During the harvests, Daisuke has the first choice, tastes everything and brings the best beans - for Hungarian customers as well.
Daisuke now runs two coffee shops in Japan and supplies many micro- and home roasters with truly fair trade green coffee.
After successful decades as a top manager of multinational companies, Szabolcs Szelei decided to dedicate his days to the distribution of socially fair and high quality coffee.
Szabolcs participated in the founding of the largest job search portal, the Profession.hu’s predecessor, worked as the domestic marketing manager of Nike and Google, as the brand manager of Procter & Gamble and advised several significant companies. He worked a lot, maybe too much, a serious illness revealed that to him. Szabolcs recovered, but his perspectives on life have left their mark forever, and today he is primarily looking for harmony.
As a passionate traveller, he travelled halfway around the world, including Central and South America, and, according to his own admission, drank his first really good coffee in 2007 in El Salvador. In connection with his work, Szabolcs met Daisuke Tanaka, a Japanese master of coffee tasting, with whom they agreed during a Bali - Hong Kong flight, eleven kilometers above the ground, to find the best, socially fair coffees in the world and bring them to the Hungarian audience. Szabolcs spends months on the farms every year to personally inspect the cultivation and the strict rules of the Daisuke brand.