Direct Trade vs. Fair Trade

Cacao, Chocolate, Direct Trade, Fair Trade, Farms, LetterPress, Sustainability -

Direct Trade vs. Fair Trade

By LetterPress Chocolate

LetterPress sources and roasts cacao beans that are truly exceptional – not only in flavor, but featuring a truly ethical, sustainable supply chain. They travel to meet farmers in person at the source – Peru, Guatemala, Belize, Dominican Republic, and beyond. They're always looking for new ways to help farmers and small co-ops out, and with them, you can help too! They pay a premium to the farmers to encourage them to keep growing fantastic, lower-yielding and delicate cacao, rather than tearing out and planting bulk over-productive commodity cacao or other crops.

Cacao is the future. And LetterPress will help build it. They’ve begun the process of selecting farms they truly believe in – not just buying cacao, but actually investing with them and taking an active role in cultivation. Sending equipment and expertise on site, their goal is to make the best chocolate in the world, in a fully sustainable and transparent way.

The difference between Fair Trade and Direct Trade? Fair Trade sounds nice on paper – a set minimum premium paid to farmers above commodity cacao price. However, this price has nothing to do with the quality or ethical background of the cacao. And from what LetterPress has found traveling into different countries, talking to farmers and their families, the model is flawed. 

Direct Trade is LetterPress's preferred method of sourcing cacao. With this model they pay farmers a premium for the quality of their cacao, in addition to environmental aspects like growing their trees in a sustainable agroforestry or permaculture system. LetterPress has invested in more than 20,000 cacao trees for a farming and forestry project in Guatemala, Izabal Agroforest - a shining example of a sustainable, profitable agroforestry system that pays their workers a great wage while supplying fantastic cacao.

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