Direct trade is a term used mainly by coffee roasters who buy straight from the growers, cutting out all the middlemen. By making purchases in this manner, they are able to avoid buying through organizations that control certifications such as Fair Trade and Bird Friendly, for example. Direct trade proponents say their model is the best because they build mutually beneficial and respectful relationships with individual producers or cooperatives in the coffee-producing countries. Some roasters do it because they are dissatisfied with third-party certification programs, while others want to have more control over aspects ranging from the quality of the coffee, to social issues, or environmental concerns. We think this is a fabulous model, so we seek out direct-trade ingredients whenever possible.