Why Direct Trade?

Posted on 23 October 2017

Coffee is the second most traded commodity after crude oil on the planet. It’s also a multibillion dollar industry, although unfortunately, only a small percentage of the money involved trickles down to the farmers who are responsible for growing this exceptional plant and providing us with our daily fix!

We want every coffee lover (and even non-coffee lovers…) to understand issues surrounding global coffee trade. So here are some important bits of information to help you choose your daily cup of coffee wisely.

The coffee farming industry is riddled with poverty, debt slavery, loan sharks, rich tycoons, exploitation, forced labour, child slavery, poor working conditions and unsustainable agricultural practices. In general, coffee pickers, migrant workers and farmworkers are the most vulnerable and the least rewarded groups involved in coffee production.

Did you know that although we might pay $3.50 for a cup of coffee the farmer may get as little as 3 cents?!

Sounds like a grim deal for most coffee farmers, right? Well yes it is. But that's where we come in. At Old Quarter Coffee Merchants we do things differently. Being that we have a profound love of this delicious bean we’ve chosen to buy, trade and consume our coffee in a way that makes it a powerful force for change.

By using ‘Direct trade’, we are putting our purchasing funds directly into the hands of the farmers, making the trade process completely traceable and transparent from the farm to the cup. By paying the farmers the true market value for their coffee we are able to directly improve their livelihoods and the benefits trickle throughout the community in the form of better health care access, education and increased opportunity. Increased support and a higher income also enables and encourages farming communities to employ sustainable organic and/or biodynamic agriculture practices which in turn improves the cup quality of their coffee…which in turn improves their income! You get the picture.

With 90% of coffee being farmed in developing countries, while most of the consumption happens in developed countries (like Australia) it's never been more important for us to choose our daily cup of coffee wisely. And that's where you come in!

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