Quality is an obsession at InterAmerican, and we’re continually taking steps not only to improve quality but to make sure that the standards we believe in are being enforced. Our Quality Control (QC) team, for example, frequently re-cups spot coffees to make sure the cupping notes we share with customers remain accurate over time.
QC team members across our three offices also perform calibration exercises, testing how in line they are as a unit, to ensure each of them can accurately represent the whole and be a consistent, meaningful resource to any customer.
This month, we’re taking another step toward increasing our knowledge, to empower us to make the best decisions about maintaining green coffee quality.
We’ll soon begin using multi-sensor cellular trackers in our warehouses and some of our shipping containers to gain greater, real-time visibility into exactly where our green coffee is, as well as the temperatures and humidity levels they’re experiencing.
InterAmerican will also be the first green coffee company to use tracking devices from Tive. Its palm-size blue trackers are currently used to oversee everything from delicate, motion-sensitive electronics to highly temperature-sensitive items, such as ice-cream.
Our warehouse partners are very conscious of the importance of temperature and humidity conditions, and we have no reasons to doubt their current good practices. But now we’ll also have data—which will be available in real-time through the Tive app and can be checked any time. We’ll also receive alerts in the event that these variables fall below the parameters we’ve designated as healthy, and we’ll be sharing our findings with the warehouses.
When the sensors are out of range of a cellular network—such as in the center of an ocean—they continue to record data, which then gets uploaded to the app when the sensors come back in contact with a network. Because the trackers include GPS sensors, we can also be alerted when a coffee leaves a port and so have an even better sense of whether or not to anticipate delays.
Eventually, customers may be able to receive real-time shipping alerts about time-sensitive deliveries. These are early days, though, and for now our intention is to collect data and set a baseline.
We’ve been in the green coffee business for 35 years and have learned an extraordinary amount. Certainly, our experience and intent are essential to our ongoing success. But we also know, today more than ever (as Francis Bacon and Schoolhouse Rock have insisted) that knowledge is power. And it’s our goal to put that knowledge to work for you. •