Here are some thoughts that seem to have crystallised during this trip to Thailand. (Warning: long post, no pretty pictures.)
Our company identifies itself as being part of the “specialty coffee” movement.
What is Specialty Coffee?
Specialty coffee buyers focus on coffees that are of a measurably better-than-usual standard1; from a consumer point of view it is a little murky, but it generally means a focus on things such as:
- where the coffee came from & how it was grown;
- what unique flavours & characteristics you might find in it;
- how the coffee was prepared & how that influenced the flavour. Continue Reading
No. We are not Fair Trade (FT) certified.
Good question, especially given that our bags promote our coffee as “ethical” (see right).
Firstly I want to state that we don’t want to denigrate the work of FT; nor its proponents. We simply feel that FT isn’t enough. I know little of the efficacy of the movement outside coffee, and we stand alongside FT advocates in desiring a better deal for coffee producers.
I’ll give two main reasons why we as a roasting company think we can do better than FT.
If you missed part 1 of our article on direct trade, you can find it here.
Firstly, a little re-cap:
Definition of direct trade:
Direct trade is an attempt by coffee buyers to shorten the coffee supply chain (for example, by acting as buyer-at-origin or as direct importer), in order to achieve a better result for both parties (for example, the buyer saves money because they don’t have to pay various middlemen, while the farmers receive a larger proportion of the sale price).