Trade That Isn’t Fair
Programs such as Fair Trade offer great incentives to farmers, but often discriminate against the smallest and poorest farmers. These producers cannot pay the high certification and maintenance fees required to buy in to the programs. Furthermore, when a farm becomes Fair Trade certified, they no longer sell their coffee beans to individuals, but instead to the Fair Trade cooperatives, who then retain some of the coffee price. Often, farmers end up being paid less than if they were able to sell directly.
Eliminating the Middleman
For lack of other options, small estate farmers are often forced to sell their harvest to middlemen who pay them commodity prices, which are sometimes less than the cost of production. This system creates a cycle of poverty and debt.
Direct trade bypasses the middlemen, allowing more of the profits to stay on the farm.
Incentivizing Sustainable Farming
Small estate farmers often have more sustainable farming practices than their commercialized counterparts simply because they can’t afford artificial irrigation, harvesting machines, and dryers. Instead farmers of small estates rely on rain water, hand pick the cherries, and dry them in the sun on patios. Direct trade incentivizes farmers with these sustainable practices.
Increasing Bean Quality
Our direct trade model shares our profits directly with our farmers. This incentivizes quality as the farmers know that the quality of their beans will directly affect the number of customers their coffee attracts and, in turn, their profits.
Connecting Customers to the Crop
Having a personal relationship with our growers allows our customers to connect with their coffee in a way that is not possible through other trade methods. Not only do you know exactly where and how your coffee is grown and processed, but you know which harvest your beans are from. You can follow each harvest through pictures and weather reports throughout the growing season on our blog.
Benefiting Entire Communities
Through the principles of direct trade and profit sharing, farmers are incentivized to improve the working conditions and wages of their harvesters, which improves the economy and welfare of entire communities.
Other amazing community stories are made possible through direct trade and we are thrilled to share some of the amazing work and stories happening as a result.