WHAT IS DIRECT TRADE COFFEE?
WHAT IS DIRECT TRADE COFFEE?
Have you ever imagined the source of your coffee, from farm to cup? How does it travel from different regions and tropics in quantities to your doorstep? The whole process is amazing. You can read our guide on how coffee is grown, harvested, and processed to learn more. But that's not what we will be talking about today.
We’ll be discussing Direct trade coffee, that is how the coffee made its way from the rainforest to your cup in such a simple way and in such quantity.
WHAT DOES DIRECT TRADE COFFEE MEAN?
Do you know the type of business that's being done these days, especially in the coffee industry? We are trying to buy coffee from the farmers and take out the middlemen. Direct trade coffee is just like this but even better but with a different ideology.
Direct trade is more focused on creating a bridge between people who love coffee- that is the consumers and farmers. It is all about making the supply chain shorter and the rosters buying directly from the farmers. Since the chain goes this way, the coffee producers will be paid more and get better value for their produce while the consumers are supplied with specialty coffee (after it's been roasted of course).
When you purchase coffee from a roaster that trades directly, you are buying coffee from brands that care about coffee and love what they do. The coffee industry has a problem that is yet to be solved- the indirect supply chain. This the problem that roasters that buy from the producers are trying to solve.
When there is an indirect supply chain, the producers will sell the coffee at unfairly low prices which will greatly affect their communities. Some companies even try to exploit lots of farmers because the buyers send to exporters who then trade to importers so this will further decrease the profits.
At Coffee Hero, we buy coffee directly from the farmers and avoid that indirect supply chain. We care about coffee and the people who produce it. You’ll be sure that you are getting high-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans from us. Click here to order some.
Direct trade helps to create a bond between the roasters, producers, and their communities without importers being involved. In the end, there will be ethical sourcing and the farmers will be encouraged to look for new methods to create high-quality products.
IS DIRECT TRADE IMPORTANT?
Direct trade is making attempts to create new ways to trade with farmers in developing countries. They are trying to create a better system for producers, roasters, and consumers. Even small farmers are included in this system. Direct trade also addresses the power balances that currently occur in the system. With the creation of the Direct trade system, the lives of the producers will be improved and better-tasting coffee is produced- We call this a win-win situation.
Roasters like us make efforts to find coffee producers that we can create a long-term relationship in order to give you the best. This is because the relationship will create sustainability, and transparency that will benefit the coffee producers. What this means is that if you purchase coffee from direct roasters, you’ll be a part of a program that benefits the local communities of the producers and helps them develop.
DOES DIRECT TRADE COFFEE TASTE BETTER?
The prices of direct trade coffee may be slightly higher but you’ll get exactly what you are paying for. You’ll get the value for dollars spent. You'll be sure of this because direct trade coffee gives incentives to producers that help them grow better coffee.
Let's explain this better- Since there is a direct relationship, the producers will be able to do a mini-survey, ask people what they want and the producers will know what to do next.
What you'll begetting? Delicious high-quality Arabica beans, because the roasters are committed to giving quality and being transparent. You can also be involved in the direct relationship between the producers and roasters because they will actually visit each other in the countries where they reside. In the end, you are getting word-class coffee.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DIRECT TRADE COFFEE?
THERE IS SUSTAINABILITY
Direct trade may not have a trademark but the ethos of this method of supply is highly sustainable. Roasters even take risks and invest their time and so much money to continue the long-term relationship with the farmers.
The ultimate goal of direct trade coffee is to have an impact in the coffee industry, thereby creating sustainability. These organizations are going in the same direction because high quality means sustainability in the coffee world. You can even do a bit of research on the coffee roaster you choose to know if they are part of the program that supports farmers, their environment, and communities.
THERE IS FAIRNESS AND TRANSPARENCY
Direct trade helps roasters to avoid going through the long route of the producer to exporter and then to them. Now they know who is directly involved in the coffee supply process so the doors of communication are open- that is Transparency. This means there is no need to spend more money on intermediaries, instead they can spend that money on their communities and farms.
THERE ARE HIGH STANDARDS
They may not be set rules that guarantee high standards for direct trade coffee but since the process is followed, there is a good indication. Roasters go through all those troubles to ensure that they produce high-quality coffee. Like we mentioned, some of these programs teach these producers how to get even higher quality coffee and have a more profitable business in the long run. Because of these, standards are raised, and high-quality coffee is produced.
IT HELPS TO ENCOURAGE SMALL FARMS
The Fairtrade system doesn't work for all farms. The certification is not for free and some small farms that produce high quality can't be a part of it. But since the profit margins are increased and there is more emphasis on quality in Direct trade system, it is equally beneficial for small farms. This solid direct trade method will set standards for small farms that are interested. In the end, the farmers will be able to sell their produce at a decent price. This will stop them from entering the poverty trap.
THERE IS A GREATER INVESTMENT
Direct trade coffee will allow the parties involved to be more invested in the transaction. These direct trade models will help the parties involved to be compatible and they will have a higher sense of purpose. For example, if a producer commits to producing a particular amount of coffee for a roaster in another market, there is a tendency that the producer will try to do things better and be committed to fulfilling the contract, knowing that he will get better remuneration.
Other producers will also have a sense of empowerment. For instance, if a farmer’s neighbor sees how the other farmer receives better remuneration, he will want to work harder so he can get better remuneration too. You see how it goes right? That neighbor can even get the contact of the roaster. There will be a healthy competition of who will produce higher quality coffee beans. This is the drive and motivation needed to produce better coffee.
When the people involved in the contract are invested in coffee, they’ll also invest their time and efforts in producing high-quality coffee and bettering the socio-economic welfare of the farmers.
THE COFFEE IS TRACEABLE
We are more interested in the coffee culture, how the coffee is grown, processed and how it affects the final cup. This is made easier with direct trade coffee. The roasters will hear directly from the farmers, learn about how they work and how it affects the coffee.
In other words, direct trade coffee allows for traceability. The buyers can get exactly what they like and the farmers will be more specific about what they farm all year, having in mind what the consumers want in terms of quality.
Note that with direct trade, it is easier to keep up with logistics because there is what we describe as intimacy between the producers and the buyer.
Direct trade is not only about the producers but the buyers too. With direct trade coffee, you’ll have an idea of what happens to your coffee before it is brewed.
We advise that you pay a slightly higher price for coffee that impacts the producer's community and is of higher quality instead of settling for whack coffee beans.
If you take direct trade coffee, it will pique your interest to go into specialty coffee.
Like we mentioned, buy coffee from roasters that are into direct trade so you’ll rest assured of the type of coffee beans you’re getting. Click here to buy some.