Coffee Comments: Direct Trade v. Fair Trade

Over here at The Fix we started doing what we do to provide a place for the arts and the community, but we also want to help spread a knowledge of coffee. Starting over the next few weeks, we’ll be writing up articles so you can know what goes in to making your cup of coffee from The Fix and why it’s the best cup of coffee you’ll get.

Fair trade has turned into something customers know to look for over the past 10 years and just like those that look for organic products, they’ll leave if they can’t find it. Fair trade coffee was started “to help producers in developing countries achieve better trading conditions and to promote sustainability.” And fair trade does the job it’s supposed to… Reasonably well. It falls short in a few places (farmers don’t always see profits from cooperatives, prices are not always in the context of the current market) and that’s where direct trade comes in and goes beyond those shortcomings. Direct trade puts coffee roasters, like Counter Culture, directly in touch with those working in other countries to grow the coffee cherries. This means needs in the community can be spotted and dealt with, it puts the power back into the hands of the coffee growers, and farmers be offered incentives for producing superior and consistent coffees with long-lasting relationships. In the end, it comes down to a better quality of living for the farmers, better coffee beans for the roasters, and a better cup of coffee for you!

Here’s a quick break down of direct trade vs. fair trade:

Direct Trade

Your Experience:
You get to drink coffees that have been carefully grown over years of collaboration, with small lot sizes and huge flavors that turn into an exceptional coffee experience.

Coffee Roasters:
The coffee roaster works directly with the coffee producer. With the cooperative cut out, revenue goes directly to the farmers and there is more incentive for quality coffee to be harvested.

The Farmers:
The farmers and the roasters get to have conversations with each other and the roaster helps meet the needs of the farmer. The farmer gets more say in what happens with the beans and also sees more of the profit thanks to direct trade.

Fair Trade

Your Experience:
Specialty coffee can vary in taste from ‘just okay’ to ‘this is pretty good.’

Coffee Roasters:
The roaster pays money to a coffee cooperative, that then takes dues out for the cooperative costs and also for a community portion and divides it up how it sees fit among it’s possibly thousands of farmers.

The Farmers:
The farmers receive lower pay and also have their voice taken away from them, because they are not protected against increased coffee commodity prices and have no contact with the roasters or coffee buyers.

Chevy Knowledge Power Hour

BAY CITY, Mich. – You probably already know that we are passionate about getting involved in our community and we are partnering up with our friends at Graff Chevrolet to bring Bay City closer together! They will be bringing you community, coffee, and cars. They will be here and available to answer any questions you may currently have about your car or they will be here just to have a cup of coffee with you!

Stop in to see us any of these days to have Graff Chevrolet pick up the tab!
-Tuesday, January 13th from 7:30am-8:30am
-Tuesday, February 10th from 7:30am-8:30am
-Tuesday, March 10th from 7:30am-8:30am

The Fix Holiday Party!

We love to bring together art, music, and people as much as we can! That’s why this Saturday, starting at 7pm, we are kicking off the holidays in style! We’ll have a showing of local artists Austin Kemp and Gavin Whalen, along with an acoustic performance by Alex Kostka Music! There will be art, music, good times, and of course fantastic coffee and some wintertime treats.

Come out, try a peppermint mocha, see some friends, make some friends, get geared up for Christmas, New Years, Ramadan, Boxing Day, or just come to hang out and enjoy the season!