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9 January 2020

Protecting business in the coffee capital

It’s well known that Kiwis love their coffee. With Wellington famed for its coffee culture, Crombie Lockwood broker Angela Moylan had to make sure she was truly immersed when taking over responsibility for Crombie Lockwood Wellington's many coffee industry clients.

In the three years since then, Angela has developed an in depth understand of the many facets and intricacies of this the unique industry, and has a much greater appreciation for the bean and its flavours.

“The coffee business is absolutely fascinating and quite complex," says Moylan. "I was determined to get a sound understanding of how the business works; the who, what, how and why.”

Coffee coming out of espresso machine

If you're a coffee connoisseur you'll fit right in with Wellington's coffee culture.

Flight's coffee supply chain  

Flight Coffee is one of Crombie Lockwood’s  many coffee clients and  Angela says the privately-owned Wellington company has blazed its own unique trail in the industry.

The story of Flight Coffee is a quintessentially Kiwi one. What started out in 2009 as a one-man operation roasting beans in a Hawke’s Bay garage has evolved over a decade into a socially and ethically-conscious enterprise which has its own coffee supply chain from ‘farm to cup’. 

In 2012, Flight Coffee established its sister company Raw Material, a speciality green coffee company that works on projects to implement a sustainable supply chain model around the world. Raw Material is focused on providing growers a better return on investment and infrastructure in the volatile world of coffee bean production and sale. It operates a coffee growing farm in Colombia and also has operations in Rwanda, Burundi and Myanmar.

As well as managing the export and import of coffee to other roasters around the world, Raw Material sends beans home to Flight Coffee in New Zealand, who operate a roasting house in Garrett Street, Wellington as well its own café, The Hangar, in Dixon Street.

Man working with coffee beans

Flight Coffee requires specialist cover, with operations in Colombia, Rwanda, Burundi and Myanmar.

Specialist insurance for 'farm to cup' businesses 

With such a diverse operation, Angela says Fight Coffee has specialist needs when it comes to insurance cover for its 'farm to cup' operations. 

“One of the important parts of the insurance package is ensuring that we arrange the correct marine cargo cover for the coffee beans which are being distributed to global customers. This can depend on whether the goods are placed on the ship FOB (free onboard) or CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) or any other alternative way” she says.

Specialist cover is also required for stock, plant and equipment for the roastery and café operations.

“With the roasting equipment fundamental to Flight Coffee being able to produce a great product, it’s essential to offer them the right insurance to protect that aspect of the operation,” says Angela.

She points out that one of the complexities is that the value of the bean stock differs.

“The value of the bean varies depending on whether the bean is still green, or part or fully roasted before being finished and bagged so having stock cover in place that responds at all stages of the process is paramount.”

Insurance cover doesn’t end there however, as to ensure that cafes and restaurants buying its product can make the best possible coffee for customers, Flight Coffee undertakes barista training and coffee education for café staff. They also provide top-of-the-line espresso machines, along with back-up maintenance and technical support. With this comes an additional layer.

“We encourage every business owner who receives a commercial espresso machine from Flight Coffee as part of their supply contract to take out a material damage policy and make sure goods in care, custody and control are insured – this will cover the machine,” says Angela.

“There are many facets to working with Wellington’s busy coffee industry. It’s a truly global one, and it’s a lot more complex than people on the street popping in for a flat white might realise.” 

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