Fair Trade or Direct Trade?

What is the difference between fair trade and direct trade?

I'm sure you've seen these words on fine chocolate labels but what does it really mean to the farmer, to the chocolatier, or to you?

Erin Andrews of Indi Chocolate has an answer for us and explains why she uses direct trade for her chocolate products.

Erin owns not just one chocolate company but two.  She is one of the owners of Cotton Tree Chocolate in Belize as well as the owner of Indi Chocolate here in the USA.

Check out the short (less than two minute) video for Erin's answer. 




If you prefer to read rather than watch the video here is what Erin has to say…


“I practice direct trade. The difference between direct trade and fair trade is that fair trade requires a certification process and a certifying body.

I practice direct trade because I want every dollar that I spend to go to the community that is responsible for the quality beans that I get. I pay a premium, I travel to the country of origin, and I look at the way the trees are growing, the practices that they use and they way that they process post harvest as well. That helps ensure that I get the best quality beans but it also helps to make sure that I get the best possible impact to the communities, the farmers, and the people that are really doing the hard work to raise the cacao.


That is how I really try to make the best impact and try to make my chocolate the most sustainable. All dollars on the ground when I am doing things like food and lodging go directly to the community and I also pay the farmers a premium for those beans. That is why I use direct trade rather than fair trade especially as a small company I want my dollars to go furthest to where they are most needed.”

It makes perfect sense to me.  With direct trade more dollars go to the farmers and community rather than to the "Fair Trade" certification process and the people who govern that process.


Thank you Erin!

Want to find out more about Erin's company Indi Chocolate and her fair trade products?
Click here for Indi Chocolate.
Click here to see Indi Chocolate on Facebook.



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P.S.  I've been using the Chocolate Mint lotion from Indi Chocolate recently. Yummy scent!