We work with 13 partners worldwide, from who we source our coffee. In Ecuador, we work together with Alicia Roque. On this page you can find everything you need to know about this collaboration.


The coffee industry in Ecuador is deeply intertwined with the nation's culture and economy. Coffee cultivation began in the mid-19th century, gaining prominence in regions like Loja and Zamora-Chinchipe. Ecuador's diverse microclimates contribute to the cultivation of Arabica beans with high and recognizable quality. However, the Ecuadorian coffee industry struggles with multiple challenges. Small-scale farmers are confronted with ongoing market volatility, as global price fluctuations jeopardize their financial stability. Pests and diseases pose continuous threats, requiring investments in pest control that strain limited resources. Insufficient infrastructure worsens these issues, hindering efficient transportation and market access. Climate change further complicates matters, altering traditional growing seasons and affecting crop quality. These downsides underscore the need for strong partnerships.


The coffee we will be selling as a Discover Monthly from 2024 onwards represents a true quality adventure. With the lion's share of Ecuador coffee ending up in instant coffee Small scale farmers rarely break through this gridlock. Manabi, the region where we source our coffee, is responsible for around  30% of Ecuador’s production and is made up of majority smallholders. The low-lying farms have relatively low yielding varieties, farmers have little inputs and coyotes (local middle men) have historically had a monopoly on buying coffees here. Therefore Manabi farmers remain distanced from the specialty market, with little info on the value of quality and little infrastructure to directly manage their own supply chains up to the final buyer. You can imagine that we are proud to be part of the exception to that rule. The coffee we bought -and collaborated on its quality improvement- is amazing. 


We were introduced to Kat and Marlon representing Alicia Roque farms in November 2020 through the US-based NGO The Chain Collaborative (TCC). TCC’s work focuses on supporting changemakers  in coffee-producing regions to stimulate community-led development. They had recently onboarded Alicia Roque farms as a change-leading partner in Ecuador with the goal of supporting them in building and scaling a coffee processing and export business in Manabi that can recognise the work of surrounding communities.


Marlon Falcones, a 5th generation coffee producer, started Alicia Roque with the vision to process a unique genetic variety that has been preserved within his family for nearly 100 years in hopes to share part of his patriarchal heritage in the local market.

Together with his partner Kat, Marlon supports his community by purchasing their coffee for the best prices in Manabi which is double what other buyers offer. Now, with team and over 100 members supporting Marlon’s vision to uplift his community by providing vital market and agricultural knowledge, Alicia Roque is ready to kick ass in the specialty coffee industry. Alicia Roque is community led, stimulates organic agriculture and the basic needs of fellow farmers. This includes access to medical care, a market meeting the cost of production and stimulating youth education.

First impact will be shared in our next report related to 2024


The coffee from the Alicia Roque farmers will be part of our Discover Monthly carousel and will be available in our stores and online sometime in the spring of 2024. Because coffee is a seasonal product in every producing country and logistics are sensitive to changes, the exact timing of the offer is hard to predict. So keep your eyes open for our offers.