What is Direct Trade?

More info from Joe Van Gogh on this term and what it means for TPB members 


Earlier in the summer, we introduced you to the folks at Joe Van Gogh, one of our favorite North Carolina coffee roaster! You’ll find different varieties of their coffee on our menu throughout the year.

Now we want to share more about the work they do with coffee growers all over the world. We have told you that Joe Van Gogh helps farmers by participating in direct trade. You might be wondering what that is.
You’ve probably heard of fair trade, and maybe even seen it at your local grocery store. In recent years, there’s been a big divide in the fair trade world, and what resulted from the divide was “Fair Trade USA” and “Fair Trade International”.
Direct Trade is another result of this split. Roasters realized that to be fair trade certified, farmers had to pay. This hurts small farmers who can’t pay for the certification. So, coffee-lovers and roasters like Robbie Roberts (owner of Joe Van Gogh) decided to cultivate relationships with farmers and directly purchase beans from them, which allows Robbie to pay the farmers higher wages since there’s no longer a middleman.
The farmers can then invest in not only their farm, but also their pickers and their pickers’ families, creating a better community. The roasters regularly visit the growers to ensure they are following correct standards and each visit helps build mutual trust between the roaster and grower. Growers are located in places like Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá and more…they ship their coffee cherries to Robbie in NC which then get roasted here at home to brew delicious coffee at Joe Van Gogh locations, or packaged and delivered to buyers, including TPB members like you!
Be sure to add a bag of Joe Van Gogh’s delicious coffee to your Produce Box in the coming months, and get your coffee fix while supporting a local roaster with global impact!