Fair Trade or Ethical Trading Policy?

This decision was always going to be a hard one as the buzz word in the coffee buying publics mind seems to be, is your coffee "fair trades"? The short answer is NO. Now to our customers this may seem on first glance to be unfair and irresponsible, indeed even exploitive of the coffee growing nations but after intensive investigation and working closely with the actual coffee farmers themselves we would like to explain further.

At this point may we say that we are not against the "Fair Trade" policy and indeed anything that benefits the poorer growing nations has to be in principle, a great idea. However, as we have direct access and indeed in most cases, personal contact via our suppliers with many of the farmers, we have chosen an alternative method of supporting the growers and workers directly.

Ethical Trading Policy in conjunction with Has Bean Coffee Ltd.

We don't wish to patronise the farmer with charity, nor will we pay an inflated price for bad coffee so we can ease our conscience. What we will do, is pay a higher cost for great coffee, as this way everybody wins including you the consumer. Firstly the farmer has pride in his work and is motivated to produce higher standard crops, we win because we are able to source higher quality beans and you the consumer win as you pay a fair price for a premium quality product. In most coffee producing countries, the consensus is they don't want charity, they are proud people who want recognition for their hard work.


Once we have found an excellent coffee and know who grows it, it is our aim to cultivate this relationship and expand further relationships until all our coffee is sourced from farmers or co-operatives where not only are we informed about the growers, but also the region and their aims. This may sound easy but in the past the coffee industry has always perpetuated the mystery of certain origins, but working closely with our import farmers we hope to rectify this.


Any business or organisation will be in jeopardy if there is no long term strategy in place. To this end we are encouraged by a mission statement by our import partners and the "Specialty Coffee Association".

  1. Pay workers more - Find better workers.
  2. Allow wildlife & nature to thrive - Less reliance on insecticides.
  3. Use organic composting - Less reliance on chemical fertilisers.
  4. Nurture your workforce - Retain a skilled and motivated workforce.


In conclusion the aspect of Fair Trade is, and has always been an emotive issue dependant to whom you speak to. We at Roasters firmly believe, hopefully as you do that nobody has the right to exploit another human being and we would never say the "fair trade" project was not worth supporting. On the contrary, we hope that by creating our own ethical trading policy we are all working towards the same end. A great sustainable quality coffee produced by happy, contented farmers and co-operatives being well paid for there efforts. Now that's a "fair trade."