It's about ‘trade, not aid’. Receiving sustainable prices for coffee lets farmers build viable livelihoods and have control over investments and development in their communities.
Ever since Jeremy and Steven first visited producers in Guatemala, back in 2001, they realised that we had to go further than just subsidies. We focus on the quality of coffee, not quantity. Seeking a living wage for workers, not just a minimum wage. It’s a better deal for everyone, and better beans for us. It’s the only way to do coffee. This is true sustainable development.
UNION DIRECT TRADE COFFEE MEANS
1. You can find out exactly where, how and by whom your coffee is produced.
2. The farmer receives a fair, sustainable price. Always covering the cost of production, in 2019 on average 35% above minimum Fairtrade price and 69% above the world market price.
3. Your coffee comes from farmers committed to sustainable agricultural practices and labour rights.
4. You get access to unique coffees. Through our direct sourcing and long-term relationships, we can discover exclusive, hard-to-find gems.
5. You are guaranteed to drink a delicious cup of 100 per cent Arabica, speciality coffee.
We wanted to create a better way. We wanted to be a force for good.
Union was founded with the aim of encouraging farmers to produce high-quality coffee by paying sustainable prices. The extra income from this trading model would improve the livelihoods of farmers and, we hoped, further encourage them to keep raising the quality of their coffee.
Today, we work together with more than 40 producer partners from Asia, Africa and Latin America on improving the economic, social and environmental conditions of coffee production, making a difference to over 65,000 people. We source and roast our coffee and sell to cafés and restaurants throughout the UK as well as to enthusiastic coffee lovers at home.
A large part of our success has been due to the direct and close relationships we have with our coffee farmer partners. We want to continue to have a positive impact on farmers and particularly their workers by sourcing coffee produced under conditions that provide correct labour standards. Improving the lives of workers in our coffee supply chain is important for the overall sustainability of coffee production.
But more importantly, we believe in this because it is the right thing to do.
STEVEN MACATONIA & JEREMY TORZ
FOUNDERS & COFFEE ADDICTS
"For us direct trade is more than going to origin and selecting the best tasting coffee.
Union Direct Trade is our sustainable approach to developing long-term relationships with farmers and supporting them to produce the best-tasting coffees."
WE SOURCE COFFEE FROM: 14 Countries / 40+ Producers
Coffee is grown in the ‘bean belt’ between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO OVER 65,000 INDIVIDUALS
Over 11,600 families from co-operatives we work with benefit from Union Direct Trade. With each family having an average of 5 family members, we calculate that over 58,000 individuals benefit from our purchasing model.
In addition, we also source from small and medium-sized farms, producers’ organisations and estates. This extends to over 1500 families, which represents a further 7500 individuals. That makes over 65,000 individuals in all.
These families have been able to feed their children, send them to school and invest in their livelihoods. So our total indirect impact exceeds this number significantly.
Climate change is coffee’s biggest long-term threat. Rising temperatures, increasing weather volatility, increased prevalence of pests, and disease associated with climate change all contribute to lower yields and lower quality, with a damaging effect on farmers' livelihoods. Prolonged drought, when combined with poverty, forces farmers out of coffee production and contributes to human migrationWithout action the global area suitable for coffee production is predicted to decline by 50 per cent by 2050, and yet demand is expected to double (World Coffee Research 2017).
UNION DIRECT TRADE WAS DEVELOPED TO TACKLE THESE ISSUES, CONTINUE READING