Last summer our team visited Eastern Uganda for the 5th time to meet with the various cooperatives and farmers we have been trading with for the past couple of years. As usual, it was an amazing trip filled with lots of learning, and we came back energized with a better sense of how fantastic it is to partner directly with various coffee farming communities. We currently source single original Eastern Ugandan cofee that is strictly high grown and shade grown Arabica coffee. We buy directly from the cooperatives in order to empower their growth, maximize their profits, and give them the opportunity they so desire to become independent coffee growers.
Direct Trade is the term we use to highlight our business practice. Typically, small coffee farming communities around the world have to rely on a series of “middle-men” who help them sell their products to various international buyers. Due to the size of these middle-men, the coffee farmers often sell at below market value and hence barely get by economically. This doesn’t just hurt them financialy, but it also impacts their families and the entire communities. When we began this business, we decided from day one that we would work diectly with the farmers and help draw various international resources their way to not only give them a better per pound price, but to help lift them out of poverty and create a more vibrant community for their families. We believed then, and we still believe now, that good business pratice has to be good for everyone involved in the transaction.
Through our direct trade practice as well as the support of our charity the Coexist Foundation, we have been able to add real value to these farming communities in Eastern Uganda. From building better warehouses, washing stations, and office spaces to more sturdy roofs on the school house, our direct trade practice is working!