Fair & Ethical Trading

While it may once have been the ‘done thing’ to turn a blind eye to the hardships being faced by those living in poor nations and the developing world, the 21st century is a wholly different era. These days, the world as a whole has largely abandoned the ‘ignorance is bliss’ way of doing business with overseas suppliers, which once saw millions of adults and children alike pretty much working as slaves to fill coffee quotas. Of course, no human being with a shred of decency would be able to sip a coffee guilt-free knowing the suffering that had gone into its production, which is exactly why each and every coffee supplier and retailer in the UK should and must by now have established a strong and well-publicised policy for fair and ethical trading.

Fair trade coffee is nothing new, but has only as of relatively recently taken over as the new norm…and the only accepted norm, at that. Here at Smokey Barn, we’ve been committed to buying beans only from ethical coffee suppliers where each and every bean can be traced from its very origins to the moment it does its stuff in your cup. We insist on knowing that those growing and harvesting the beans we use in our speciality coffees are not only treated fairly and provided with safe working conditions, but also paid a fair wage for the work they do. We’re not in the habit of supporting those coffee suppliers who treat their businesses more like internment camps than fair and amicable working environments – the same however cannot be said for a large proportion of generic coffee brands still siding with the cheapest suppliers irrespective of the consequences.


A Cut Above

As the overwhelming majority of the gourmet coffee beans we source come from the world’s most exclusive and high-end speciality coffee suppliers, the concept of fair trade doesn’t generally come into the equation. The reason being that we aren’t in the habit of buying beans from the large and overly controlling international coffee conglomerates that produce and harvest thousands of tons of the stuff every week – we prefer to do business with smaller businesses that produce their own elite-quality beans under their own steam. Of course, this means we pay a considerably higher price than you’d be likely to pay for any standard fair trade coffee on the market, but at least this way we know that those working hard to make our exclusive coffees and coffee beans are being fairly rewarded for their efforts.

It’s only when you start looking for the biggest possible savings that the ethical question creeps into the equation. If for example you’re paying pennies for low-end coffee beans sourced from Ethiopia, how much do you think the poor guys picking them in the first place are getting paid? Chances are it’s next to nothing…or perhaps nothing at all…so while the idea of bargain coffee might be an obvious choice for you, it’s worth sparing a thought for how far this money will be spread and distributed down the line.

With Smokey Barn, we know where every last bean we source comes from and we know exactly how those involved are both treated and paid – that’s why we sleep so well at night!


You Get What You Pay For

Above all else, we’ve always believed that coffee is one of those products where you really do get what you pay for. Of course, this doesn’t mean that every high-priced coffee in the world is fantastic in every way, but at the same time it does mean that you cannot expect a decent cup of coffee if you pay pennies for it. The way we see it, there’s so much more pleasure to be taken from one cup of exquisite coffee than a dozen lesser cups, so why sell yourself short with the kind of stuff you throw down with little to no enjoyment whatsoever?

Here at Smokey Barn, we’d never try to claim that our exclusive coffees are the cheapest on the market and nor will they ever be. We insist on buying only the finest quality beans from all over the world for the kinds of prices that guarantee those involved in the production process a good wage and fair rewards for the efforts invested. Regardless of the kind of coffee you usually buy, it doesn’t cost a great deal more to step up to something wholly more ethical and responsible – something in line with the 21st century way of doing things. Not that you have to think about any of this with the beans and grounds on offer at Smokey Barn – we’re committed to remaining a cut above the crowd in every way, ethics included.

Take a look at what we’ve got on offer, or give us a call today with any questions you may have.

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