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The Business

If you’re in the coffee business, you’ll know that sourcing the best new green beans the world has to offer is a constant challenge. Each year new varieties emerge, prices for coffee fluctuate and producers and traders around the world change their practices. To keep up with the world of coffee, your business needs to understand all the intricacies of global supply of coffee.

Bennetts > The Business > Sourcing

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Importing quality coffee seems simple enough: just approach a plantation and see if you can negotiate a good deal. Unfortunately, it’s rarely this simple. For the last century, Bennetts has been buying beans from plantations all over the world and what we’ve discovered is that there is no substitute for

knowledge of the industry, the process and having integrated risk management strategies in place. The successful importing of quality origin coffee involves 10 discrete steps and the smart importer has plans in place to get each of these processes exactly right.

Origin Search

The buyer searches for coffee beans in origin market and identifies the grower or mill.


The buyer negotiates with exporters looking for Coffee type, Quality, Quantity, Shipment and Timing Price negotiation process begins!

Offer Quote

The exporter attempts to secure a requested sale order with their stock or with beans from other mills. When they have arranged the stock for an export order they will prepare an offer quote. The quote specifies nearly all of the details of the transaction but final details will appear on a sale contract when the offer is accepted.


If the quote is accepted, the buyer and seller sign a contract to formalise the purchase. The contract should contain the terms "Replace" and "No Approval, No Sale" (NANS). Once the contract is signed, the buyer arranges shipping from port.


Buyers insist on a pre-shipment sample (PSS) to ensure they are getting what they are paying for. PSS should be available immediately. The seller prepares the sample and forwards it to the buyer, but it may take weeks before the contract coffee becomes available. 

Sample Approved

Buyer approves sample. If the sample does not live up to the expectations set out in the contract, the buyer should reject the sample and request an alternative sample of different stock.

Arrange Order

The seller prepares the coffee for export, taking it out of storage and ensuring it is hulled and graded before it is ready for export. At the same time, the buyer needs to have secured shipping so that their order can be packed and loaded for transport seamlessly. 


Shipment to Australia can take anywhere from two weeks to eight weeks depending on the country of origin. Once the beans arrive at an Australian port, it takes around a week to clear customs.

Sample on Arrival

The buyer should sample the coffee again to ensure there are no differences between the PSS and the product landed in Australia. Once this sample is approved the buyer can complete the transaction.


The importer takes ownership of the shipped product. Transaction is complete and the the coffee can be delivered to the importers warehouse or the clients roasting facility.

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