Tag Archives: Direct Trade

342. Mirror, mirror on the wall

Stephen Macatonia directs Union Hand Roasted in London, one of the UK’s leading Direct Trade roasters.  Last week he published this thoughtful piece in the Guardian — the latest contribution to the ongoing debate between advocates and practitioners of Fair Trade and Direct Trade over whose trade is fairest of them all. For our part, we […]

268. “Whole-of-business” trading solutions

In this article in the current issue of Roast Magazine, Fair Trade USA CEO Paul Rice again expresses optimism about the future of Fair Trade Certification in the United States.  Before you panic, let me say this is not another post about Fair Trade for All.  At least, it is mostly not.  Mostly, it is […]

263. Research review: Counter Culture’s case study on the social impact of microlots

Counter Culture Coffee Buyer and Sustainability Manager Kim Elena Ionescu was scheduled to present the company’s brilliant case study on the social impact of microlots to the 2012 SCAA Expo today.  She was unable to attend, so Counter Culture’s Coffee Director Peter Giuliano stood in for her — arguably one of the more notable understudies […]

262. Counter Culture interview: The social impact of microlots

Kim Elena Ionescu probably needs no introduction.  The Counter Culture Coffee Buyer and Sustainability Manager has been sourcing great coffee for years for one of the leading brands in specialty coffee.  Along the way, she has been steadily moving the company toward more sustainable and transparent sourcing practices, and showing a way forward for other […]

261. Measuring Direct Trade’s impact

Later this week, Counter Culture Coffee will present the results of its study “The Social Impact of Microlots” to an audience at the 2012 SCAA Expo.  I am excited about the report because it directly addresses two issues that have been the source of much discussion on this blog in recent years: the potential for […]

236. 2012: The year of the impact-at-origin baseline?

I had a long conversation last week with a specialty coffee luminary that ended in a surprising statement about how little the industry really understands about its impact at origin after all these years. We talked about the state of sustainability in the coffee industry in general, and the current controversy in the Fair Trade […]

226. CAFE: Trading data and infographics, v 2

Last week I posted some final sales data from our recently concluded CAFE Livelihoods project.  It provoked some thoughtful comments and rich discussion, most of which centered around the flaws in the presentation of the data.  I look forward to revisiting the issue of assessing impact at origin in the New Year.  In the meantime, […]

225. CAFE: Trading data and infographics

Earlier this week, two academics published an insightful Fair Trade infographic that sheds some light on the current rift in the Fair Trade movement. Today, I try my hand at putting data from our CAFE Livelihoods project into an infographic that may contribute to the discussion.  Our project data from the 2010/11 harvest suggest that […]

198. Three principles of “harmonized investment”

A little over a year ago, in a post on industry reinvestment at origin, I raised the prospect of “harmonized investment” — complementary, non-overlapping investments in the coffeelands by diverse actors on the coffee chain.  Recent events have inspired me to revisit the idea.