Coffee is the second most traded global commodity after oil, employing millions of people to produce the 2 billion cups consumed around the world every day. But from production in developing countries, to global trade, to consumption in developed countries, the industry is plagued with some dirty secrets.
In this collaborative piece, Green Grid Radio and Making Contact team up to explore the lesser-known environmental and social justice costs of your morning coffee habit.
Jennifer Dunn reports from Colombia as she learns how Colombia’s small-scale coffee farmers are struggling to protect their crops and salvage their livelihoods. Mallory Smith hears from both sides of an ugly split in the fair trade movement, a movement which was first borne out of the desire to improve the lives of those who grow our coffee, but which some say has been co-opted by people with a different vision. And Laura Flynn decides to find out what happens to our little K-cups – those convenient single-cup brewing pods which seem like a miracle of modernity – once we throw them away.
Hosted by Mallory Smith and George Lavender. Contributing producers: Jennifer Dunn, Laura Flynn, Mallory Smith.
Coffee farmers Jairo Martinez, Mariana Cruz, Suzana Angarita
Jeff Goldman, former executive director of Fairtrade Resource Network
Jeff Chean, Principal and Chief Coffee Guy Groundwork Coffee
John Hazen, single-cup coffee machine owner
Rebecca Jewell, recycling program manager for Davis Street Transfer Station
Pensacola Twilight, Lee Rosevere
Cafetero, Christian Martinez
Grand Caravan, Blue Dot Sessions
Them Never Love No Bans, Hot Fire
La Boite a Sons – Contest Contributions, various artists
For more information:
Fair Trade Lite: Fair Trade USA moves away from worker co-ops
Hijacked Organic, Limited Local, Faulty Fair Trade
Roundup on Fair Trade USA/FLO Split
Your Coffee Pods’ Dirty Secret