Counter Culture Coffee made a stir recently when it released its Direct Trade Certified Transparency Report — a worthy accomplishment that broke new ground among Direct Trade roasters. The only thing I have seen that compares to this level of transparency is Fair Trade Proof — a radical approach to transparency developed by Fair Trade pioneer Cooperative Coffees.
I am still trying to understand how Direct Trade works on the ground, and how we, as a development agency working to promote more sustainable and fair trading models, should advise smallholder farmers to approach it. As part of my own ongoing education in Direct Trade, I have been seeking out different perspectives on Direct Trade and finding plenty of good resources.
Over the past week and a half, I have been posting on the issue of how coffee companies are investing at origin. Today: what they are investing in, and how that may be changing.