Quality of coffee. Quality of life. Quality of business. That's what underpins union direct trade - and everything we do here.
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.
Why 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.