The basics of quality in relation to marketing are simple. Coffee must
The first two points cover the general acceptability of a coffee, while the third and fourth deal directly with the quality. Without an agreed description of the quality, or a sample of the actual coffee, there could not be any trade in coffee because quality is a subjective term, open to many interpretations depending on who is making the judgement.For the serious, committed producer and exporter the focus should always be on quality. Price should never play a role when preparing a shipment of an established type of coffee. It is only by strictly adhering to contractual obligations and always supplying exactly what was sold that solid reputations are created. Solid reputations attract equally solid buyers, which leads to repeat business that in turn raises the level of interaction between seller and buyer from just price to quality and price.Probably the worst offence an exporter can commit is to knowingly ship a coffee that does not meet the contract specification. Roasters purchase coffee with specific purposes in mind and if a shipment is not up to standard then it cannot be used. Usually, even the offer of a subsequent reduction in price (an allowance) does not help. Respect for quality and impeccable contract execution are an essential, and may even be the most important part of an exporter's marketing arsenal. Both large and small roasters tend to reject coffees that on arrival do not match their requirements, something that can cause major problems. And roasters are increasingly purchasing subject to approval of quality on arrival. For the exporter, prevention is always better than the cure.