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direct trade


Statement of Principles

We are committed to working with coffee farmers who are true artisans of coffee cultivation and practice their craft with a dedication, passion and skill. We work with, and offer our support to, these skilled producers/artisans for the sole purpose of presenting our customers only the highest-quality coffee.

We believe there are a number of critical factors contributing to the growth of a truly exceptional coffee, and that farmers are one of these key factors. Therefore, we believe those who do the best work should get the best price; we do not believe in coffee subsidies.

We believe working with these farmers to deliver the highest-quality coffees requires us to listen, learn, cup, and give feedback in their creation.

We believe that a coffee farmer who grows an award-winning coffee is an artisan and should be given his due. This recognition develops dedication to craftsmanship, skill for production and passion for the harvest quality.

We believe that great coffee is inherently produced through sustainable methods. We therefore only work with farmers who are dedicated to improving and maintaining the economic, social, and environmental conditions of their farms and communities. It is important to note that sustainability may not necessitate organic products.

We seek to deliver the highest possible return to farmers and therefore, whenever possible, require our importers, exporters, cooperatives and farmers to agree upon the financial distribution prior to harvest and act transparently in the execution of distribution, allowing us to monitor the committed delivery price to the farmers.

We believe that our goals are more effectively achieved when the number of individuals and organizations between the producer and Klatch are minimized to allow for direct and better communication. Through our Direct Trade program we aim to simplify the coffee supply chain and improve quality as well as sustainability.

Direct Trade Coffee Criteria for Klatch

  • First and foremost, the coffee must be of exceptional specialty quality with a minimum cupping score of 85 points.

  • The farmer or cooperative must be paid a minimum of $1.75 per pound. Additionally, the minimum paid to the farmer must exceed both market price and the published Fair Trade price by a least 25%.

  • The farmer must be committed to sustainability using social, economic and environmental practices.

  • Klatch representatives must personally travel to origin country and (where possible) visit each farm or cooperative biennially to inspect, document and communicate with our partners to reassure all Direct Trade Criteria are being met.

  • Open transparency is critical, therefore we work with all participants in the chain to provide full disclosure back to the farmer or cooperative.

Direct Trade vs. Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a great organization that was created at a time the coffee market was well below $1.00 per pound and coffee farmers were going broke and starving. It currently applies not only to coffee but also cocoa, sugar, bananas, and other commonly traded agricultural products. It is a certification designed to ensure that every product bearing its label is purchased at a base price that is above the cost of production for the farmer. For washed Arabica, the highest quality coffee, the Fair Trade minimum price is set at $1.25 per pound plus an organic differential of $.20 if the coffee is certified organic regardless of quality. Certified Fair Trade is a certification owned by FLO International and licensed in the US by Transfair USA. It is specific to democratically run cooperatives, and does not apply to private farms. This is where Klatch Direct Trade helps.

Klatch Direct Trade Coffee is designed to meet the needs of private and family coffee farms and co-ops in today’s market. We pay a base price that must exceed the higher of the C Market price and or Fair Trade price by at least 25% with a minimum paid to the farmer of $1.75 per pound. We do not believe in coffee subsidies, but believe those farmers who do the best work, are committed to healthy environmental and social practices should get the best price. That’s why we work with and offer our support to these skilled producers/artisans for the sole purpose of presenting our customers only the highest-quality coffee.

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