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Cuppa Joe:The Consumption and production of coffee and its impacts on the world Jared Walhowe
WHY COFFEE????? • 2nd most valuable legally traded commodity • 2nd largest source of foreign currency • Most traded food commodity by value • Affects everything • I LOVE COFFEE.
The Coffee Plant • Native to Kaffa Province in Ethiopia • 80 species, we only drink two: Robusta and Arabica • 4-5 year gestation • 20 – 100 year lifespan • Requires a consistently warm climate • Extremely delicate.
History • Kaldi
History • Coffee was first popularized as a drink in The Yemen • Religious and Medicinal drink before it was a social drink • Sufi Monks • Turkish Coffeehouses • Khair-Beg, Mecca Governor in 1511 • Pope Clement VIII
History • Amsterdam Paris Colonial Cash Crop • Missionaries encouraged its growth • Arab monopoly replaced with European colonial monopoly • Coffee Parallels Industrial growth and population • Steam engine Americas • New Proletarian Diet of coffee and bread: an illusion of nutrition • American Revolution: coffee over tea
Production • Three methods: Traditional, Intense Organic, Intense Chemical • 2 methods of bean extraction: Dry method and the Wet method • Costa Rica pioneered Wet method • “technify” production – Cultivators • Latin American Stratification – political power through coffee power
Consumption • Consumption equated with advanced capitalism • “Both a sign of, and instrument for achievement, energy, invigoration, and effort.” – Howes • Demand has historically been inelastic (Great Depression) • High demand = excessive supply. No short term adjustments. • Brazil created demand by overproducing. • “Black Frost” of 1975 Return of Quality
TNCs • Starbucks & Kraft • Nestle – $6.4 billion annually in coffee • Nescafe • TNCs push instant coffee – 25% by sales, 40% by value is instant. • YUCK!
Coffee and Culture • The coffee break forever changed leisure time. • Haya – “life force” • Advertisements perpetuate inequalities
International Coffee Agreement • “The International Coffee Agreement, like the Alliance for Progress, was seen by Kennedy-era liberals as a means of fighting communism at its social and economic roots.” (Paige 1997) • U.S. selectively regulated coffee to weaken the political power of socialist nations • Regulation through ICA strengthened future deregulation
The Human Factors • Production dependent on working poor for fertilizing, weeding, pruning, disease maintenance, harvesting, and replanting. • Labor is largest cost • Average worker get $3 a day globally • Brazil, 1828 – 1/3 population were coffee slaves • El Salvadore, 1930 – coffee 90% of exports. Indigenous workers revolted. Government military reacted by massacring 30,000.
Coffee and the Environment • Deforestation. 80% of Costa Rican forests now coffee. Cut and burn for fertilizer • Migratory birds • Pesticides pose no risk to consumers, but workers and environment. • Downstream effect of pesticides and Wet process • It takes 37 gallons of water to make 1 eight-ounce cup of coffee .
Alternatives • Fair Trade: 1988 – Max Havelaar foundation. • Living wage • Supports export industry • Organic • Certification = better price for coffee • Reduces downstream effects • Industrial organic • Costs $ to get certified • The truly organic growers are not certified
Improvements in Processing! • Composting pulp waste: red worms turn pulp into fertile soil in 3 months! • Oriflama Guatemala: • No water waste! • Use lime juice to remove beans • Use water to remove bean • Reuse the water over and over until it becomes soapy and thick • This is then used as an incredible fertilizer • Parchment papers are burned to dry beans
Conclusion • The production and consumption of coffee is a big deal! • Nation development, industrialization. • Political and economic power • Environmental justice • Social justice • It’s the drink of capitalism!