I suggested yesterday that Fair Trade coffee is on a roll. I think it is important to reflect further on the relationship between Fair Trade and quality, as much of what accounts for coffee quality has nothing at all to do with Fair Trade
Back in May, Counter Culture Coffee owner, SCAA President and all-around coffee guru Peter Giuliano took me to task for some pretty lazy reporting. Today, I settle in for a heaping plate of crow.
Tomorrow, the CRS Coffeelands Blog turns 1. We won’t be able to publish the standard one-year-old birthday party picture of a wide-eyed baby with a face — and hands and hair and clothes — covered in icing and cake crumbs, but I did want to do something to observe the happy occasion.
An important part of our approach to agro-enterprise involves making the chain that links farmers to markets more transparent. The idea is that the more farmers understand the market end of the chain — consumer preferences, market trends, quality standards, product presentation, etc. — the more effectively they can meet the demands of the market. […]
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.
The price paid to smallholder farmer organizations is often the primary point of comparison different trading models. Unfortunately, a lack of precision can make these comparisons miselading.