Direct Trade vs Fair Trade, Why are They Important?

This weekend at an in-person shopping event, as we shared our philosophy, a number of customers asked “what is direct trade”.  So we thought we would share..

When you purchase products, you’re buying more than what is in your bag. You’re buying values. The values of the person who created the product. The values of the person who transports it. And the values of the person who sells it to you.

You can purchase according to your values by understanding certification initiatives like Fair Trade and Direct Trade, and how are they different?

Fair Trade
Works to improve disparities between conditions of small-scale business (farmers, artisans) in developing countries & industrial countries that have greater advantages.  This is done by a 3rd party certification at a cost to the farmer or artisan.  Many, even as part of a cooperative, can not afford to pay the Fair-Trade Certification Fee and therefore can not participate in the program, even if they might qualify.

Direct Trade
Is when a seller buys directly from the farmer or artisan.  This is not a certification, instead is based on the values of the company.

At Le Nid, we believe in high quality items, created in a sustainable and ethical way.  Direct Trade allows us to conduct our business with economic, social and environmental responsibly.  Partnering with those whose values align with our own.  Supporting strong families and communities, where all are treated equally with grace and respect.

We build ongoing relationships with those we work with to ensure transparency in the work environment created and in how they support their local communities.

What we believe in goes beyond fair trade.  We treat everybody we meet as we would expect to be treated ourselves and our relationships are built on trust, respect, equality, and friendship.

When you purchase you are able to support a set of values.  Both Fair Trade and Direct Trade can help you in understanding the values of those who create your products and those you purchase them from.