Retailers Sourcing Store-Brand Direct Trade Coffee

Target and The Fresh Market, Greensboro, N.C., have added direct trade coffee to their respective private-label lines, according to supplier Coffee Bean International.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Target and The Fresh Market [2], Greensboro, N.C., have added direct trade coffee to their respective private-label lines, according to supplier Coffee Bean International here.

Direct trade is a type of fair trade sourcing where roasters pay a premium above the minimum price that fair trade certification requires, for higher quality specialty coffee. Through its new "Project Direct" program Coffee Bean International is working with 20 independent farmers in the San Ignacio region of Peru, 18 of which are farming organic. They are receiving 40 cents to $1 more per pound than established fair trade prices.

The roaster and wholesaler is working to build similar relationships with farmers in Nicaragua and Tanzania. Project Direct is a good fit with The Fresh Market's customer base, officials said.

"Our customers are interested in the story behind the products that they buy," said Karen Stout, vice president of non-perishables at The Fresh Market, in a statement. "With Project Direct coffee, they can find that story – about the regions, the farms and about the sourcing practices."

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