Hey, fellow coffee enthusiasts! If someone had whispered in our ears four years ago that we'd be where we are today, we'd probably have laughed it off. But here we are – a brand with a coffee cup-toting astronaut floating somewhere in space, and we couldn't be more thrilled about connecting with coffee lovers across the globe. The year 2023 has been a rollercoaster ride for Forest Coffee – challenging, rewarding, and full of growth. As we bid farewell to this incredible year, we want to share our achievements, experiences, and the exciting journey we've embarked on with you.
First and foremost, a massive thank you to everyone who has been part of the Forest Coffee dream. Your support fuels our mission to change the coffee world, making it more inclusive and beneficial for everyone involved. We've been blessed to witness our community grow, with over 1300 people – coffee growers, roasters, providers, and our team – working together to turn this dream into a reality.
One of the significant challenges we encounter each year is determining our company's priorities. With only 24 hours in a day, we are tasked with making crucial decisions. In light of this, we've made a strategic choice to align our focus with our core purpose: engaging roasters in projects that deeply influence the processes of our coffee growers in Colombia. Any endeavors not directly linked to this core mission will find their place in our backlog or, in some cases, gracefully relinquished.
Aligned to our purpose we initiated various projects, conducting over 20 talks with coffee farmers on processing methods, personal finance, and environmental sustainability. These initiatives serve as the foundation for future endeavors aimed at improving quality, livelihoods, and sustainability in the coffee business. Additionally, our Re-Forest project successfully planted more than 6985 trees, establishing a network dedicated to positive change.
Furthermore, innovation has become a cornerstone of our identity, influencing every aspect from farming to roasting, where we've identified numerous opportunities for product growth. As the coffee industry rapidly expands, we're gearing up for the surprises and technological advancements that the coming years will undoubtedly bring. That's why achieving a total of 94 references in our portfolio this year is a significant accomplishment, and a big kudos goes to our quality team.This is linked to our transparency policy of paying at least +20% above market directly to our farmers and an astonishing +4806% in the best case.
We also recognized the high value of seamless logistics and enhanced service between farmers and roasters. In this swiftly growing industry, prioritizing quality and efficient logistics is paramount. This approach enables both farmers and roasters to focus on what matters most – living a full life, improving quality, and fostering innovation in the captivating world of coffee. In this mission for the 2023, our coffee astronaut, Apollo, traveled to more than 50 countries across the globe to deliver the best specialty coffee from Colombia, and that's a very cool thing to say.
Our Forest team also had a remarkable year, we are now more than 20 people including individuals from 5 different nationalities, achieving a perfect 50-50 gender balance. As we step into 2024, our goal is to continue expanding this dream with coffee farmers and roasters worldwide.
Here's to an unforgettable 2023 and an even more exciting journey ahead in 2024. Let's keep sipping, growing, and changing the coffee universe together! Cheers to Forest Coffee and all of you who make it extraordinary.