Direct Fair Trade
The goal of Bean There Coffee Company is to make a sustainable difference in the lives of African coffee producers and we believe that the best way to do this is to trade directly and fairly with the farmers, building relationships, and promoting quality coffee.
The accepted definition of fair trade is as follows:
“Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair trade organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising, and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.”
Fair trade is an essential and crucial element of Bean There Coffee Company. For too long coffee producers have been exploited and treated unfairly. Bean There deeply believes in trading fairly and ethically with coffee producers in Africa thereby supporting the coffee farmers, their families, and communities. Fair trade is not an obligation but an opportunity to actively support development, growth, and social empowerment.
At Bean There we view direct fair trade as a hand up and not a hand out. Fair trade is not about special treatment, but rather fair treatment, and it extends beyond farmers and producers to the staff of Bean There, our suppliers, and our customers.
The intention is not to reward poor quality coffee. The intention is to pay the coffee farmers according to the quality of coffee they produce and not according to what the market suggests. Coffee is an extremely labour intensive commodity and the human element cannot be removed from the process. At Bean There we celebrate the human element by approaching coffee farmers as equals in a business transaction and not a charity case to support.
For Bean There Coffee Company, direct fair trade is not only about a certification or a logo. It is not only about rigid standards and regular audits. It is about relationships. To develop relationships with our coffee suppliers we regularly travel to the communities that produce our coffee. These trips provide us with the opportunity to see the impact our business is making in the communities. It allows us to say, “Yes, we have been there. We have met the farmers producing our coffee. We see the change each cup of coffee is making.”