Post By TOK
"Crop to Cup" v Fairtrade
Video of Site sponsor Di Bella's founder Phillip Di Bella discussing "Crop to Cup" v Fairtrade philosophies with Brazilian coffee farmers.
Di Bella Coffee - Crop to Cup Action - YouTube
Last edited by CafeLotta; 16th September 2013 at 12:45 PM.
That's great CafeLotta, thanks for posting that.
Since reading an essay on Wikipedia on the perils of 'FairTrade' ( or unFairTrade, as I call it) I've tried to avoid it.
Although FairTrade has been the main source of organic beans, I think it's a pre-requisite for the scheme,
the higher prices paid for Direct Trade is going hand in hand with the development and implementation of more sustainable farming methods
and as more and more coffee farmers turn to sustainable or organic production then 'FairTrade' loses it's near monopoly.
To be fair tho' (pardon the pun!), FairTrade has raised awareness in the west that there is another side to the coffee world; the farmer.
A clever name………. well it's fair isn't it?? and a clever marketing tool…………..it makes us feel good…….right?? but FairTrade is ultimately failing those it was designed to help.
Typical of the western, corporate mentality, a system was devised that feels good, looks good, sells well but which profits the organisation
and it's many layers of administration rather than our 'brothers and sisters' whose lives and well being are at stake.
There is still a long way to go in placing a true value on green coffee and a long way to go in improving the lives of all coffee farmers,
rather than individuals. FairTrade has played it's part but now it's time for the west to stop whipping the lame horse, put it's money where it's mouth is and move on.
Checkout GreenBeanBay for the number of beans that can be tracked back to the grower, it's awesome!
I'll get off my soapbox now. ;-)
Uhm? The video I watched was about people and being brand ambassadors? Am I missing something
Oops! Not relevant in this thread. Removed the 2nd link.
Originally Posted by ggoosen
Ah right that makes sense. Good video
Unfortunately the Western business model when dealing with the less fortunate is largely as you have described. Justify the cheap labor and low cost products by lame statements such as "we are improving the standard of living compared to if we didn't operate here". Just a way of allowing modern day Slavery to flourish and supercharge the West's consumer engine all the while making absolutely obscene profits but at what cost? Greed, greed and more greed constantly eating away at all that is good in the world.
Originally Posted by chokkidog
Neither actually (topic heading).
All roasters can hook up a direct trade through their brokers...where do we think fair trade brand, RFA and Utz and others come through, and my understanding is crop to cup IS a green bean broker. Just about all greens come through some kind of broker or other...
All of this is a lot of semantics and definitions, ducking and weaving.
By definition the broker is another "middle man" taking his share of the grower's profits. Cut out the middle man and you'd hope the grower gets a fairer share. My understanding after viewing the video is that Di Bella deals directly with the grower and pays the grower directly. The printing on the bag at the end of the video has the Di Bella name on it which seems to support the direct connection. All beans landed here are on-sold regardless of who imports them and how. Not having to pay a broker has to be better for the grower you'd imagine.
Originally Posted by TOK
Last edited by CafeLotta; 17th September 2013 at 11:10 AM.
I dont think so. The grower sells his coffee to "market" wherever or whatever that may be. Professional brokers buy the coffee fair and square if its in one of the countries that employ the auction system. They have not taken a growers profits, the grower has received the market price whatever that may be.
Many growers are members of a (their) local coop where the coffee is milled for them before going to market. At that stage, the coffee still belongs to the grower. Many coops employ the services of local / district agronomists (many, themselves "native") whose job it is to work with the growers to improve their farming practices and produce a better crop, which in turn will bring a better price at auction. This has nothing to do with fair trade or direct trade, and it is happening throughout regardless, although it will in the end depend on the location / origin of the particular beans we may be discussing. Talk to Utz, who promote just that, and the coffee comes through "brokers". The commercial roaster buyer in this case, can trace the origin of his coffee straight back to the grower. Utz in effect "introduces" the parties, and tis the traceability that's the key. A particiular roaster can from then on specifiy that he wants to buy coffee from that grower....and the beans still go through a broker who is providing the necessary logistics.
My understanding is that if my crop to cup is onselling beans then it is also a broker, and then the roaster that buys from them, should not be advertising that the coffee it has bought was "direct traded" because in reality it was not. And what then differentiates my crop to cup from other brokers? My crop to cup competes with other Australian brokers in trying to sell greens to commercial roasters. Who takes the high moral ground here?
As stated, "...All of this is a lot of semantics and definitions, ducking and weaving..."......by parties that have something to gain from plying their particular point of view. The media can be used as a very manipulative tool.
If you like I can hook you up with people that will stencil whatever you want on the bags that come to you, and it will look like you did some kind of "direct trade" with a grower, and beware that there are just as many new direct trade brokers springing up from the last shower, as there are new commercial roasters and cafes springing up all over.
Are you perhaps confusing broker with wholesaler? A broker doesn't typically own a product, but take a fee for brokering a deal between two other parties.
Unless the use of a broker results in greatly improved efficiency in sourcing product, which is what you're paying them for.
Originally Posted by CafeLotta
If it costs me more to source product myself than to employ a broker to do it for me, will less or more money be available for the product itself?
they are called "green bean brokers", but they really are a wholesaler.
Originally Posted by MrJack
in countries that have a govt controlled coffee auction system, all coffee is supposed to go through the auction. If you want to buy coffee from a particular grower, you will have to buy it from the auction. No roaster in another country is going to go to auctions all over the world to buy coffee, unless they are very big....... Your "broker" cups EVERYTHING that goes to auction and also has relationships with various growers. The broker will pay a "premium" (ie, he will pay whetever it takes at auction) to buy particular origin coffees in the knowledge they are what his various clients want. And the grower gets the market price and has not been screwed by some unscrupulous broker as urban myth would have the general public believe. Professional Brokers in Australia and their agents actually bring a wide variety of great coffees here and without which, we would get blend 43.
In countries where you really can buy direct, who takes care of the logistics etc? Fledgling hipster roasters in this side of the ocean? I think not.
Ergo in many cases where ozzie roasters prance about the place saying they do "direct trade"....they may often be bending the truth.
I say again..."...All of this is a lot of semantics and definitions, ducking and weaving..."
Hoping my comments can help balance the discussion !
Very nicely done Di Bella.
I agree direct trade is the future, bringing a customer closer to the farmer is what coffee should be about!
In all my world travels,I am yet to see an overweight coffee grower.Brokers yes,wholesalers yes,roasters yes,cafe owners yes,advertising agents yes.Maybe the coffee growers and their families like to remain poor and hungry and do not mind?