So, if there is a quality problem, who hits it the hardest: the coffee producer or the coffee buyer? It all depends on what went wrong and who the partners in the direct trading relationship are. Keep in mind that there are no industry-wide rules or bodies that govern direct trade: it is up to the producer and buyer to negotiate the terms. 3. Focus on improving the lives of producers through long-term agreements and interest-free cash advances. This doesn`t mean that working with an importer is bad: direct trade isn`t the only way to have a positive impact on the coffee supply chain. In some cases, cooperation with an importer may be better than direct trade (more on this in this context!) And sometimes it may even be your only option. Direct trade is a form of supply practiced by some coffee roasters, chocolatiers, tea sellers and more who establish direct relationships with the farmers and processors who sell their products.  There are no uniform direct trade standards, and specific business practices vary depending on the business and ethical priorities of the roaster or manufacturer.  In general, however, direct trade practitioners view their model as a model of mutually beneficial and transparent trade relations.  Some proponents explicitly define direct trade as an alternative to Fairtrade certification and seek to address perceived fair trade restrictions by: Although such practices are common among coffee roasters and chocolate manufacturers self-identified in direct trade, there is no uniform definition of direct trade or set of common standards. The lack of third-party accountability is a frequent criticism from direct critics of the business, including former promoters, who are frustrated by what they perceive as a trend of big, marketing-savvy roasters “bombarding consumers with the term even if they don`t offer a clear definition of its meaning, no evidence of a real direct commerce system, or the slightest burst of transparency regarding procurement.”  What does this really mean? And does such a vague term have any real value? Have you ever been confused about the coffee-to-water ratio to use per cup of coffee? Our simple calculator and coffee-water diagram makes it easy to brew the perfect coffee. Stop looking at it and let`s do the coffee calculation for you.
Direct commercial café from El Roble, Huila, Colombia. Credit: Right Side Coffee Patrick Murray of Finca Mahajual, El Salvador, has a similar answer, but stresses the importance of the relationship. “It means establishing a direct business channel between two parties,” he says. “It refers to the relationship that is maintained and nurtured between producers and roasters. A relationship in which, ideally, quality and price issues are defined and agreed, with a long-term vision for mutual benefit. We offer direct commercial coffee subscriptions that allow you to easily have your favorite coffee delivered to your door. Check out our subscriptions to learn more about how easy it is to enjoy coffee beyond fair trade at home or at work. In addition, Patrick supports both roasters and farmers. “Traceability allows buyers to get exactly what they expect from certain producers, and producers can focus on tailor-made productions for specific buyers year after year and know what their peers expect in terms of quantity and quality,” he says.