How to start a coffee import business

“I want to do business with Ethiopia!”

With that said, I went to Ethiopia for the second time as a single backpacker.
There, he met with Denkaram, a producer of raw coffee beans, and a business negotiation was concluded.
I returned to Japan and was waiting for the arrival of the raw beans.

story up to last time
Encounter with Ethiopian coffee producer Denkaram

After returning to Japan, it was the first import, so it was a slapstick.

・How to transport green coffee beans
・Can I handle customs clearance by myself?
・Arrival date different from the contract

This time I would like to talk about that.

How to transport green coffee beans

Green coffee beans are generally shipped in dry containers by sea.
→ A dry container is a container without air conditioning equipment.
Coffee beans that come by airmail are quite high-end beans.

In the case of sea freight, the price does not change much whether it is 18 tons or 500 kg.
This time, we will import 500kg, and the transportation fee will be distributed per 1kg.

According to the estimate at that time, if it was 500kg, it would have been cheaper to ship by air.
And air transportation is said to be shorter in transportation time and less likely to deteriorate in quality.
So this time I decided to fly.

By the way, I think the turning point was about 1 ton.
If it's more than that, sea freight will be cheaper.
→ It depends on the period, scale, and company.

When importing tons of raw beans by air, the air freight cost is directly reflected in the price per kg, making the green beans ridiculously expensive.
You may be able to maintain the quality, but you won't know if you're buying beans or paying for shipping.

In the case of air freight, there is an upper limit for discounts.
Up to 100kg, 〇〇 yen per kg. From 101kg to 200kg, △△ yen per kg. The discount condition is that if it is more than 1 ton, it is all the same price. (This is from a few years ago.)

On the other hand, even if it is transported by surface mail, I never feel like "Isn't this transported by surface mail?! It tastes like surface mail!" Because there are excellent plastic bags such as Grain Pro now.
If you taste the air and surface beans side by side, you might feel the difference.

At Galitebe, we want to provide coffee that can be drunk on a daily basis, so we think it is important to keep the price down as much as possible while improving the quality of the beans.

Can I handle customs clearance by myself?

“Is there any qualification required for customs clearance?
I thought that, but as a result of doing a lot of research, I didn't need a license to import green coffee beans in Japan.

However, my anxiety overwhelmed me, and I decided to ask a customs broker to help me, so I searched the customs broker's website.
Some of the websites of customs clearance companies that I have seen say that they do not do business with companies unless they are corporations. ] Notation.

If you are a sole proprietorship, you cannot deal with it. .

Since I was envisioning handling 18 tons, I was thinking of building a corporation eventually.
Well, it's just the right time.
That's why I decided to form a corporation.

Established Galitebe Co., Ltd. on October 25, 2018

I decided to ask a customs clearance company for the first customs clearance.
→I did the second customs clearance by myself. I will make a post on that as well.

Arrival date different from contract

According to the contract signed with Denkaram, it will arrive in 2 weeks after receiving the money.

I wanted it to come quickly, so I sent the money early.
However, the beans have not arrived even after two weeks. . .

Even if I contact Denkaram, the only reply is "I'm on my way now".
It happened before. .

In Ethiopia, even if I meet someone, they don't show up at the scheduled time, and when I call them, they say, "I'm on my way now."
Denkaram arrived 1 day and 2 hours later than the originally scheduled time for business negotiations with Denkaram.

Ah Ethiopia.

The raw beans arrived in Japan about two weeks later.

The story after the arrival of raw beans will be next time.

Pricing of green coffee beans

Before that, I had to think about the selling price.
Bean cost, transportation cost, customs clearance cost, consumption tax, packing cost. . .

Considering everything, I came to the conclusion that 3000 yen per kg is a reasonable selling price.
If you are a wholesaler of green coffee beans, you will understand that 3000 yen per kg is quite expensive.

Galitebe wants to provide "ordinarily delicious coffee" in a good way that you can drink on a daily basis.
Expensive for that.

On a different note, there are many coffees today that have a great impact when it comes to taste.
But do you want to drink it every day ? If you ask me, I'm a little troubled.

The impact coffee (self-named) is also delicious. I like it too
It will be "Oh ~".
However, if you drink it every day, it's a delicious coffee .

From the beginning, I wanted to mainly handle such coffee at Galitebe.

Back to the topic, that's why it's a protracted battle ignoring profit.
The price per kg was decided to be 1800 yen to 2100 yen.
→ This is the limit of the price you can drink every day (subjective)

By the way, if I compare 500kg of fish to be sold annually at this price, it feels like I'm running with my hands outstretched while receiving a bullet in my stomach.
→Major bleeding, big deficit.
I can't even cover my living expenses, let alone the import fee for the next raw beans.

In the first year, I sold beans while working part-time as a moving company.

How quickly we can increase imports will determine whether we can continue this business.
With that in mind, we started selling at this price.

Arrival of green coffee beans
Just like that, May 2022. Currently, we purchase and sell 18 tons of raw beans.
This blog will share the story behind it.
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Galitebe green beans