bean article by Wheelys melbourne

The impact of your coffee

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You may have heard that coffee is the world’s second highest traded commodity only exceeded by oil. It’s true. It’s also true after water coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. Now take a moment to comprehend this and what it means. Think about how big the world is and how many people live in it. All of a sudden that coffee cup you’re holding means a lot more than it did yesterday. Every now and then you hear snippets of information that you actually listen to. Information that turns your head and make you think. There are so many people making their morning coffee, ordering coffee at cafes, so many different beans, different blends, millions of cups served every day. All of a sudden that little bean that you see skimming the top of your grinder waiting to be ground to give your day that extra kick, makes a lot of difference to a lot of people’s lives. Think about it for a moment. Each and every coffee bean starts out as a small cherry-like fruit. It was picked – by hand, packed up to be ripened and eventually roasted once green. Each piece of fruit counting as someone’s daily contribution, someones farm, someone's liveleyhood . All the way to your daily coffee cup, that little coffee bean travels thousands of miles, bypassing all kinds of ethical obstacles so that you can pay $4.00 per cup in Fitzroy or St Kilda. So how can you make a difference? Well education is the first step, knowing where the coffee you drink comes from. Does your local cafe serve Fairtrade coffee? Or do they support direct trade? Purchasing Fairtrade means the farmers and the communities that support them are benefited. The money is invested in the communities providing equipment and education, and ensuring fair wages for farmers. But just because your cafe doesn't serve fair trade doesn't mean their product isn't sustainable. Some artisan cafe's choose direct trade in which they cut out the middle man and work directly with the farmers. This generally ensures a higher quality product and in return the farmers make more per kilo. It's easy to forget the incredible journey behind a simple cup of coffee. A product that the majority of us rely on everyday and often take for granted. All it takes is a moment to think about how the coffee arrived in your cup, where it came from and whose hands it passed through. If we all support sustainable trade then everyone benefits from the farmer to the end user.

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