What is Direct Trade?
« Direct Trade » represents a major revolution within the coffee growing universe, thanks to the importance it puts on the current distribution of wealth amongst market players. To begin with, « Direct Trade» is the elimination of an intermediate, by buying as directly as possible to cooperatives and other unionized businesses. It is also a manner to override players controlling various certifications, such as Fairtrade and Bird Friendly. More and more producers favour this solution by forsaking certifications in order to have more control over items ranging from coffee quality, social issues, or environmental concerns.
By doing so, businesses also avoid speculations in the stock market concerning the price of coffee. Players within « Direct Trade » attract the attention of consumers concerning the richness that exists in world of coffee. How? By maintaining direct relationships between the local producer and consumer. This is an effective way to enhance the farmer, its region and its working methods, without compromising product quality and sustainable development.
Why should it be favoured?
Most cooperatives involved in the « Direct Trade » practice a biological agriculture, without any use of pesticides or chemical fertilizer. Thus favouring the conservation of biodiversity, by cultivating the grains under the shade of the forest. From a social and economic point of view, these cooperatives and other local producers can count on the trust of organisations that play the « Direct Trade » game 100%, through a regular purchase of these products. This allows producers to more effectively plan out the future. Since then, the profits of cooperatives are reinvested into the community (education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc). The producers and roasters therefore participate in the health of their cooperative while ensuring transparent management.
The Café Liégeois choice of beans: From Kivu to Chiapas
Similarly to other organisations, the teams of Café Liégeois go directly on farms and producer countries to select the best beans used for the design of our coffee. This «Direct Trade» allows us to effectively control the quality and freshness of our coffee offered to you.
In KIVU with COMEQUI :
This also allows us to directly work with the local producers, as we’re doing by the sides of OBNL COMEQUI based in Kivu. Created in 2008, this association pursues the objective to empower the rural population of Lake Kivu (particularly in the region of Minova), to carry out sustainable development actions, increase revenue and improve the living conditions of the population. In addition to increasing the coffee production of an exceptional Arabica coffee, COMEQUI’s help, oversees and forms coffee growers in the region. Café Liégeois assisted the teams of COMEQUI during the launch of a nursery, which offers free disposal of over 400 000 coffee plants to 425 small planters in Kivu.
Credit: Ethiquable coop
With Terres solidaires in Chiapas:
In Mexico, the teams of Café Liégeois work on the field, together with the Terres solidaires association. After a visit in Chiapas, the leaders did not remain insensitive to the conditions of the surrounding producers:
« It is not possible to spend time with these people, to trade with them and remain insensitive to their plight. The profitability of their work is so that they can invest in equipment, which would allow them to better exploit their plantation. This is, however, no heavy equipment but sometimes just shovels, spades, fences ... It is no longer acceptable that people are sometimes unable to assure their livelihood by the lack of economic prescribers that negotiate down the price of a commodity that they will never even smell » (Michel Liégeois, General Manager of Café Liégeois)
Since then, we have decided that every box of coffee from Chiapas that is sold, we will donate 10 cents to the association, in addition to paying a higher price to the local producers. These gestures allow the sustainability and the well being of producers. For this reason, all bean products within the Café Liégeois range are from the same societal approach. Direct Trade is the respect for values and it deserves to be pushed further similarly to fair trade approaches. Simply put, for a better world.