Fairtrade Coffee vs Traceable Coffee
We recently switched our coffee bean supplier from a fairtrade supplier to a small batch green importer, and we wanted to explain why we believe this is a more ethical and sustainable choice.
What does it mean to have traceable coffee?
Coffee roasters often use a green coffee bean importer who buy their green coffee beans from different farms and regions. This is usually done in very large batches, so a really large coffee broker will often have to buy beans from a variety of farms in a region or country.
Due to the large scale of their business operation, it is then hard to pinpoint exactly where each particular coffee bean is from.
We have taken the decision to use a supplier that is a small batch green importer. This means that the beans can be traced directly back to the exact farm/region/country of origin. This gives us full traceability of our coffee, and it also means we can be more certain that the small batch farmers are being given a fair wage and are able to continue being innovative.
What is Fairtrade coffee?
Fairtrade is an arrangement between western and developing countries whereby coffee producers receive fair prices provided they meet specific labour, environmental & production standards. They are then able to provide financial stability to their workers and communities, thus reducing poverty.
What is the problem with Fairtrade coffee?
On paper, Fairtrade coffee is a fantastic way to ensure producers are given a fair and stable income for their produce. In practice, the Fairtrade arrangement does not always guarantee traceability or consistent quality and can sometimes actually lead to producers being locked into pricing and being unable to grow or innovate.
In order to be a Fairtrade member, coffee producers must meet strict labour and production standards, which often result in limited growth and difficulty innovating. There is also an argument that the majority of the inflated Fairtrade prices don’t actually end up with the farmer anyway, because the Fairtrade organization itself costs so much to run and to market itself.
There is a growing belief that what started as an economic and social justice movement has turned into an expensive marketing campaign for ethical consumerism, and so we think it might be time to go back to the drawing board and start taking more personal responsibility for the traceability of our product.
How can you ensure your coffee is ethical and sustainable?
It’s not always easy to know exactly which farm, or even region your coffee is from. This is why we have switched to a green coffee bean importer who only uses small batch coffee farmers. This way, we know exactly which farm and region each coffee bean comes from, and we know there are less “middle men” taking a share of the wealth along the way.
At Maverick, we will always look for ways to make our coffee more sustainable without any impact to the flavour and quality of the roast. This is what makes us different, this is what makes us Maverick.
Where are our new coffee blends sourced from?
Here are our other blends (farms and regions are listed on each coffee blend on the product)
No.4 - ORIGIN: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica. 100% Arabica. Our popular house coffee has subtle flavour notes of caramel, chocolate and toffee.
No.15 - ORIGIN: Guatemala, Ethiopia, Brazil. A full bodied coffee with fruity notes of apple, custard and toffee.
No.17 - ORIGIN: Peru, Nicaragua, Colombia & Brazil. 100% Arabica. A dark roasted, strong tasting punchy coffee with notes of redwood and bourbon.
No.33 - ORIGIN: Honduras. 100% Arabica. A balanced and smooth flavour including notes of lemon, pine and spice. We recommend the No.33 for a filter coffee.
No.21 Decaf - ORIGIN: Uganda. 100% Arabica. A rich, strong and full bodied decaf with delicate notes of fruit, honey and cinnamon.
Coffee for reusable pods
Perfect for Pods No.1 - ORIGIN: Brazil & India. A rich and strong, full-bodied coffee with a depth of flavour making it the ideal choice for pod coffee.
Perfect for Pods No.2 - ORIGIN: Costa Rica, Brazil and D.R Congo. A gorgeous, medium roasted coffee with notes of berry, hazelnut & chocolate.
Perfect for Pods No. 3 - ORIGIN: Guatemala, Ethiopia, Brazil. A full bodied coffee with fruity notes of apple, custard and toffee.
Perfect for Pods No. 4 - ORIGIN: Peru, Nicaragua, Colmbia & Brazil. A heavy bodied, dark roast coffee with notes of redwood and bourbon.
Perfect for Pods Decaf - ORIGIN: Uganda. 100% Arabica. A rich, strong and full bodied decaf with delicate notes of fruit, honey and cinnamon.