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Cafe Kubal enters direct trade agreement to return greater profit to farmers

Cafè Kubal recently entered into a direct trade agreement with Thrive Farmers Market in order to provide their customers with better quality coffee.

Thrive Farmers Coffee is a group of farmers who supply coffee to a number of private roasters, retailers and cafes.

Cafè Kubal, located at 720 University Ave., is one of three outlets that are part of the agreement, said Peter Pullen, head of staff at Cafè Kubal. He added that this agreement will ensure the farmers receive more of a profit from their crop, giving them more incentive to produce higher-quality crops.

As opposed to a fair trade agreement, which sets a fixed price for the coffee, the direct trade agreement varies with the quality of the crop produced, said Angie Hillman, coordinator of media relations at Thrive Farmers.

“The farmers get at least 50 percent of the revenue,” she said. “This has never been done in history.”

Matt Godard, the owner of Café Kubal, thought about the direct trade agreement for a while, Pullen said. He said he hopes to have Café Kubal derive all of its coffee through direct trade agreements.

“It would be awesome,” he said. “We don’t want to buy cheap coffee and sell it at a low price. We want our customers to enjoy coffee derived from premium sources.”

Pullen added that this agreement would increase the cost of the coffee being sold at the cafe because both the bean and process are taken into consideration. Instead of brewing the coffee, Cafè Kubal uses “the pour over” process, which allows for fresh coffee.

Customers, such as Justin Hilgart, said they support the cafe’s new agreement.

Hilgart, a freshman in the School of Information Studies and Martin J. Whitman School of Management, approved of the agreement despite the higher prices.

“It sounds like a good business deal because both sides will make more money when you cut out the middle man,” he said.

Ugochukwu Obieshi, a junior aerospace engineering major, said he wasn’t aware of the agreement, but thinks it’s a great idea because it allows the cafe to pay more attention to the coffee it buys.

“The questionable part of the ordeal is that Kubal will not have to adhere to coffee quality regulations already in place,” Obieshi said. “However, I trust that Kubal will only serve the best coffee they can find so I don’t really find it that concerning.”

Anjali Nayar, an undecided freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she approves of the agreement because it will better the lives of many around the world.

“Thanks to an innovative joint venture, their coffee isn’t simply a tasty source of caffeine,” Nayar said. “Instead, their purchase is helping thousands of family farmers in developing countries make a better living.”

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