Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending August 14th

A hand holds a coffee cup with latte art, resting on a folded newspaper. Via Pixabay.

A hand holds a coffee cup with latte art, resting on a folded newspaper. Via Pixabay.

As always, when I started writing this roundup I was worried about the lack of news. What will I write about, I wondered to myself.

Well, it turns out there’s always something to write about. Case in point: this week’s news.

USDA Proposes Stricter Regulations for Organic Certification - via Daily Coffee News

In the first major revisions to the program since its introduction in 2000, the United States Department of Agriculture has released a broad set of updates and changes to its Organic Certification regulations.

These changes could have broad ramifications for both the specialty and conventional coffee sectors, which Daily Coffee News reports could mean “stricter oversight throughout the supply chain of certified-Organic products, including adding new compliance requirements and additional oversight for supply chain actors such as agricultural cooperatives, exporters and importers, or packaged product makers such as coffee roasters.”

“Increasingly complex organic supply chains reduce transparency and complicate traceability, yet these elements are essential to trust in the organic label,” says the Agricultural Marketing Service, the USDA agency which oversees Organic certification. “This can lead to mishandling of organic product, loss of organic integrity, and fraud. The provisions in this proposed rule are designed to address these risks.”

What the exact repercussions of these changes will mean for the coffee industry remains to be seen, but a convoluted and vaguely untrustworthy system helps nobody, so any improvement on that would be welcome.

Read the full story here.

Busan Holds Its Second Coffee Trade Show Amidst COVID-19 - via Barista Magazine

In any other year, in any other timeline, this story wouldn’t exist. Or, at the very least, would be a footnote to some other story.

“Place holds event” is not, on its own, particularly interesting.

However, in the dumpster fire of a year that is 2020, “place holds event with actual people doing normal things together inside” is pretty momentous.

Basically, Busan in South Korea held a coffee trade show, its second trade show since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

That’s kind of it, although it is rather jarring to be in the US and see people in countries that actually took this thing seriously just. . . sort of. . . get to go on with their lives.

Really makes you think.

Read the full story here.

Yes, Your Coffee Is Taking Longer To Be Delivered. Blame The President. - via Sprudge

Sprudge did a poll this week asking about mail delivery delays and, surprise, there were lots of reports of mail delivery delays.

A collection of mailboxes on a wooden stand. Via Unsplash.

A collection of mailboxes on a wooden stand. Via Unsplash.

The United States Postal Service consistently tops the list of most admired federal agencies, and its existence is literally backed up by the constitution. However, certain elements in government and beyond are trying to kill it, and have been for years.

The ongoing crisis in the USPS has a long and complicated history, one I’m not even close to being qualified to explain, so I’ll let smarter people do it for me.

It is being supercharged right now for obvious reasons. With a combative (to say the least) presidential election gearing up for the fall, one in which the role of the USPS will be central due to the pandemic and the dangers of voting in person, this crisis will continue to worsen.

Not to mention that just in general the USPS is critical for many people to receive medication and paychecks and is a crucial link between rural communities and the rest of the country.

Coffee shipments are a symptom of this, but it’s a huge issue. Things are being done to fight back, but the simplest way to help as a citizen is to pressure your representatives, and buy from small businesses who, in turn, use the USPS.

It might take a while to get to you, but hopefully it will be worth it.

Read the full story here.

Ripening coffee cherries on a branch

Ripening coffee cherries on a branch

More Headlines

Influential LGBTQIA Coffee Shop Cuties Has Closed Because of Coronavirus

Ritual Coffee reckons with race and culture

Coffee Has Been Mercilessly Dragged Around in US/EU Aerospace Trade War

The Week In Coffee Greenwashing

Not much this week, except for the news that Atomo Coffee has received $9 million in venture capital backing for its coffee-less coffee.

Atomo is big on the sustainability aspect of their product. Their mission, according to the press release, “is to use science and technology to recreate coffee people love in a more sustainable way.”

Sprudge, on the other hand, retorts: “If it is unclear how lab-grown coffee helps solve climate change or deforestation, it is because it doesn’t. It simply removes these issues from the equation. Climate change and deforestation are still very much real and very much a threat to coffee production; making an alternative product unaffected by these issues is not solving them but ignoring them, and in particular, ignoring the human cost of further destabilizing the chain of coffee production around the world.”


Is Coffee Good For You?

Nothing new this week. I’m going to assume that means we’re still fine to keep drinking the stuff.

A person sits on the floor reading a book. via Unsplash

A person sits on the floor reading a book. via Unsplash

What To Read

Creating COVID-Safe Spaces by Janae Easlon

The Global Coffee Crisis Is Coming by Sam Ellis

The Meditative Act Of Brewing Your Morning Coffee by me!

Until next week, drink good coffee. Wear your mask. And support the USPS.

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