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Sucafina Acquires US Green Coffee Trader Sustainable Harvest


Sustainable Harvest and Founder David Griswold at the 2018 Let’s Talk Coffee event in Colombia. In the image behind the stage are Sustainable Harvest Chief Technology Officer Oscar Magro (far left) and Chief Coffee Officer Jorge Cuevas (far right). Daily Coffee News photo by Nick Brown.

The North American subsidiary of multinational green coffee trading company Sucafina Group has acquired progressive specialty coffee trading company Sustainable Harvest, based in Portland, Oregon. 

Sustainable Harvest, which was founded by David Griswold in 1997, will now be part of Sucafina North America, which operates under the name Sucafina Specialty. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, although the acquisition includes a 100% stake.

“Sustainable Harvest is rededicating itself to its core mission to support producers and roasters with traceable, transparent trading,” Sucafina North America said in a press release disseminated early this morning in the United States. “With this acquisition, we are providing the stronger financial support they need to continue operating some of the most progressive sustainability initiatives in the industry, while maintaining their company independence and status as a B Corporation.”

Current Sucafina North America senior trader and sustainable supply chains director Kat Nolte Ferguson has been appointed as the new managing director of Sustainable Harvest. Longtime Sustainable Harvest partner Jorge Cuevas will remain SH’s chief coffee officer. SH founder Griswold, who has also served as the CEO, will transition to “an innovation role” within the global Sucafina Group, according to the announcement. 

Sustainable Harvest operates what it calls a “Relationship Coffee” model, built upon principles of transparency and traceability, nurturing long-term relationships with green coffee producer groups through investments, capacity-building and social sustainability initiatives. The company has recently been involved in numerous “living income” price projects.


Sustainable Harvest recently launched 36-pound boxes of green coffee for smaller-volume buyers. Daily Coffee News photo by Nick Brown.

Sustainable Harvest also hosts an event called Let’s Talk Coffee, which typically takes place in a coffee-growing region or trading hub of a coffee-producing country, and maintains an inclusive, multi-stakeholder approach to tackling some of the green coffee industry’s most pressing social and economic sustainability issues. The group is currently planning a Let’s Talk Coffee event in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, scheduled for later this month. 

“Sustainable Harvest will continue to innovate and challenge the traditional trading model by building traceable and transparent supply chains that fully integrate from end to end,” Cuevas said in this morning’s announcement. “Together with Sucafina, we will continue our commitment to serving coffee farmers and roasters. The relationship coffee model, producer partners, and customers remain at the heart of all we do.”

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