At Stanford Social Innovation Review is an article damning, of all things, Fair Trade. Fair Trade has been one of the more visible buzz phrases among American retailers as we look for ways to make our global marketplace more equitable to small players… but it’s failing. The article explains why, and the reasons are kinda the same as the reason mainstream commerce fails: disconnection from supplier chain.
New to the marketplace, however, is Direct Trade, practiced by some small retailers like Chicago’s own Intelligentsia Coffee. Direct Trade means that the merchant purchasing the goods bypasses trade conglomerations of all sorts and goes straight to the solo farmer, thereby giving the farmer a direct participation in the quality of their merchandise.