There’s only one Stephen Leighton, the human dynamo responsible Tamper Tantrum, Tamper Tantrum Live (it’s like TED for coffee!), and Has Bean, a quality-focused wholesale coffee roasters based in Stafford, UK. Mr. Leighton recently published an editorial on Direct Trade and why Has Bean is moving away from the DT model. This editorial is edgy, biting, and intentionally courts controversy. More from Mr. Leighton’s editorial, “Direct Trade Sucks”:
I liked [sic] it to being trapped in a loveless marriage, one was trying really hard, and the other didn’t feel the same way. Its [sic] a problem when your partner loves you for the wrong reasons, or doesn’t trust your motivations. I guess Thats [sic] my job to fix or change that.
You’re going to have to trust me even though it doesn’t have the name direct trade / fair trade/ grown by nuns/ kissed by monkeys or any other certification. I don’t want to make the same noise or the same mistakes of others using direct trade. Relationships with many producers is too complicated to give it a title or a badge or a sticker. After all its not about words its about actions. feel free to judge me on them.
Do you think Mr. Leighton is right? Does Direct Trade indeed suck? Or should Leighton lay off? Direct Trade is a big concept and it means different things to different people – we’d love to hear more from you, so please feel free to sound off in the comments below!