Clearance Delay.

Try as I might to not check my email as soon as I roll out of bed, I usually end up doing just that. And what greeted me this morning as I scrolled through? Uh-oh. A “clearance delay” in the export of our hibsicus (hustling its way up from Mexico to join its other Direct Trade brethern when we pack the Liga Boxes on Saturday.) A clearance delay means that one of the thousand details that have to be in place of export has gone… askew.

We’re hustling to un-delay the clearance delay but while I’m waiting for FedEx to call, I thought I’d share the story with you.

Let me back up. Direct Trade means no middlemen.

No middlemen means that us Liga Masiva-ers orchestrate the export, import, and transport of every product we buy from the small-scale farmers we work with in Latin America. Direct Trade can’t be direct with middlemen in the way. (And, boy, are there middlemen in conventional trade! Coffee, for instance, can change hands as many as 13 times before it gets to you.)

Cutting out the middlemen is the heart and soul of what we do. It’s why we do what we do. But it’s not always easy. The farmers we work with don’t know the “ins and outs” of preparing product for export. So we’re learning as we go to make the document-prep process as easy as humanly possible for the farmers. Amy, our operational whiz-kid, has been working all day every day for the past three weeks to figure out every rule, trick, detail, and form in order to get the Liga Box products in the country in the super-short timeframe we had.

We’re not there yet, clearly, and that’s what caused the clearance delay. But we’re hustling to get there! And we’ll keep you posted. (Oh, and cross your fingers for the swift un-delay of that hibscus! It’s delicious and we want to get it to you ASAP!)

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