We get asked from time to time about our focus on direct trade when we talk about how we get our coffee beans.
"What is direct trade?" “Why does direct trade coffee matter?"
One of our most common responses is that direct trade helps farmers earn a higher profit margin. That higher profit margin allows them to put more money back into their communities. Yes, we want our farmers to make more money. This helps them build a more sustainable lifestyle, but the real answer to why direct trade goes much deeper than that. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Coffee harvest happens once a year and it’s not an easy task. Gathering the coffee from a high elevation is only the beginning. The moisture in higher elevations isn’t ideal for the drying process. So, the harvested beans need to be taken to the farm’s dry mill each day. That trip can take hours.
The entire harvest season takes about three months. With coffee production demands so high, farmers are working 7 days a week. Each day they clock in for 12 or more hours. With many coffee farms being small, family-run operations, they need to recruit help. Hired workers must relocate their families during this time and farms don't usually have enough revenue to provide schooling, a cafeteria, or pharmacies for families and children. ⠀⠀
Direct trade helps provide more funds to make this possible. Well-Bean Coffee has been sourcing directly from a coffee farm in Nicaragua for more than 7 years. We’ve had the pleasure of being able to visit each year to watch it grow. This farm now offers education for children and a cafeteria with nutritionally focused meals. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It puts a smile on our faces knowing that we have a small part in this. Our end goal is to be able to source directly from all of our partners and continue to make an impact.