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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Direct Trade: The New Fair Trade


The growth of the coffee industry over the last 20 years has led to expanding global coffee markets. During this time, consumer product awareness has increased the demand for higher quality products. Coffee has been a leading export of many developing countries due to their fertile growing regions and availability of cheap labor. The creation of the Fairtrade Labelling Organization has led many to believe the coffee they are consuming is contributing to development in these products countries of origin. Recent studies show that the push towards fair trade coffee production has had little impact on the goals the organization seeks to achieve. An alternative model, Direct Trade, is increasingly becoming more popular with roasters and has proven to have a more relevant impact on individual farmers and villages it sources coffee from.

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