Union Direct Trade
Our sourcing principle is more than just paying a fair price, Union Direct Trade means we work in partnership with farmers to improve both quality of coffee and levelihoods, long term.
What does it mean?
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.
We don't use third party auditors
We have meaningful relationships with the farmers who grow our coffee. We understand coffee on a deep level, and so do they. Most third party auditors don’t. Plus, a lot of the criteria Union prides itself on – like transparency and traceability – often aren’t included in audits. On top of all that, auditors and reporting styles vary from year to year, which makes it hard to track progress. So what do we do instead? We officially train our employees to carry out social audits and track our progress to the rigorous standards we aim for. We’re tougher on ourselves than any auditor could be. And we’re the better for it.
For the coffee farmer it provides aspiration to grow ever higher quality coffee, aided by regular practical support from us. For you, it produces a delicious cup with ethics.