Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending November 27th

An espresso cup sits atop a magazine on a table, seen from above. Via PxHere

An espresso cup sits atop a magazine on a table, seen from above. Via PxHere

As this Roundup is being published on Small Business Saturday, I figured I should start by encouraging you to buy some coffee from your local coffee roaster today.

I’ve decided that “local” to me is the state of Michigan, and beyond that the Midwest more generally. So today I used this great Reddit post listing First Nations/Indigenous coffee companies in the US and Canada (with thanks to the folks at Getchusomegear for pointing it out on Twitter) to buy a couple of bags from O-Gah-Pah Coffee in Oklahoma.

Okay, let’s move on to the news (what there is, anyway).

ICO to mobilise vital resources for victims of Hurricane Iota and Eta - via Global Coffee Report

It’s now been several weeks since numerous countries in Central America were hit by the double whammy of Hurricanes Eta and Iota. The damage is still being assessed, but it’s safe to say that coffee production, such a big part of many of the affected countries’ economies, will be badly impacted.

The International Coffee Organization (ICO), everyone’s favorite London-based coffee intergovernmental organization (unless you’re Guatemala), has pledged its support for those coffee producers facing financial strain—at the very least—in the aftermath of these storms.

This article in Global Coffee Report, as often with an ICO statement, is pretty low on specifics. “We are working to mitigate the impact of this climate-related tragedy on the life and work of coffee farmers in the region,” said ICO Executive Director José Sette.

The article goes on to report that, “Using its convening power, the ICO is rallying the international community on this issue, including ICO members, other international organisations and donors, the private sector, regional organisations, and financial institutions.”

Again, not exactly specific.

Daily Coffee News has an updating list of ways you can directly help those affected by the two hurricanes, which is a concrete and simple solution that is apparently beyond the ICO—not to mention, for example, Starbucks and Nespresso, two companies that roast and sell coffee from many of the countries impacted by the storms and have, at least so far, not committed to helping with aid or really anything else.

Read the full story here.

Would You Pay $34 For A Dunkin’ Donuts Candle? via Sprudge


Read the full story here (if that’s your thing).

More Headlines

Asia Coffee Comeback Props Up Biggest Specialty Grower in Brazil

Seeking US Expansion, Illy Sells Minority Stake to Rhône Capital

The Week In Coffee Unionizing

Employees attempting to unionize Colectivo Coffee in Wisconsin and Illinois have announced a “reverse boycott”, asking customers to add a message of support for the unionization effort to their orders.

While it’s only happening today, and is only really applicable to customers who can physically pick up their order from a Colectivo cafe, it’s still an inventive use of online ordering.

The Colectivo unionization effort has been going on for a few months now, with the company hiring a $3,000-per-day consulting firm that specializes in “maintaining the union-free workplace” and allegedly firing workers involved in the push.

The Week In Corporate Coffeewashing

Keurig Dr Pepper Canada has announced “a key milestone in its sustainability journey” by launching some coffee machines partly made with recycled plastic.

The two new pod machines will be “made with at least 20% and 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, respectively,” according to a news release.

In the same announcement, the company also lauds its own involvement in “the circular economy in Quebec” for recycling plastic that will “promote innovation while reducing the environmental footprint.”

Completely unrelatedly, this is a great article in the Financial Times of all places that looks at the business of sustainability, how more and more companies are touting themselves as “green”, and how the lack of clarity in their claims can muddy the waters and confuse consumers.

Is Coffee Good For You?

Not if you buy it from one of the many, many coffee shops defying local COVID-19 shutdown orders.

What I’m Drinking This Week

I spent the week finishing off the Peru Cenfrocafe from Vagrant Coffee, which was excellent. Hopefully it lasts until my next shipment arrives (I am truly bad at ordering coffee on time).

What To Read

This Gun Coffee Brand Was MAGA Royalty. Then It Turned On Kyle Rittenhouse by Kelly Weill

Singapore Kopi Culture by Sierra Yeo

Until next week, drink good coffee. Support local coffee roasters. Wear your mask.

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