Fair Trade vs. Direct Trade | The Lexicon of Sustainability | PBS Food

Fair Trade vs. Direct Trade


When you buy food, you’re buying more than what is in the can. You’re buying values. The values of the person who grows your food. The values of the person who transports it. And the values of the person who sells it to you. Ben Myers of 1000 Face Coffee in Athens, Georgia explains that consumers have values too. Consumers can shop according to their values by understanding certification initiatives like Fair Trade and Direct Trade.

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Food Terms

Certified organic
“Certified” means that the food, feed or fiber has been grown and handled according to strict organic standards which are enforced by independent third-party state or private organizations. Certification includes inspections of farm fields, livestock and processing facilities, detailed record keeping and periodic testing of soil, water and produce to ensure that growers and processors are meeting the standards of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) or other third party standards.
– Oregon Tilth

Direct trade
It closes the gap between farmer and consumer, it’s less about the farmer and more about the company buying directly from that farmer.
– LOCAL: The New Face of Food and Farming in America, by Douglas Gayeton.

Fair trade
A way to address disparities between conditions of small scale farmers in developing countries from Africa, Latin America, and Asia (collectively referred to as the Global South), and those of subsidized farms and industrial countries in the Global North that have greater access to things like financing, crop insurance and other advantages.
– LOCAL: The New Face of Food and Farming in America, by Douglas Gayeton

Fair trade premium
A sum of money paid on top of the agreed fair trade price for investment in social, environmental or economic development projects, decided upon democratically by producers within the farmers’ organization or by workers on a plantation.
-The Fairtrade Foundation

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Featured in the Film

Ben Myers
1000 Face Coffee
Athens, Georgia
Benjamin Myers is the founder of 1000 Face Coffee, which does only small-batch roasting by hand. The goal of the company is to maintain a small ecological footprint.

Bud and Samm
Wandering Goat Coffee Co
Eugene, Oregon
Wandering Goat Coffee Company is a small specialty coffee roaster dedicated to sourcing the highest quality coffees and roasting them to accentuate their unique regional and varietal differences.

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