Shaun Weston is managing editor digital, FoodBev Media. This is a personal blog and views expressed are his own.

10 Apr 2013 (Updated 12 Apr 2013)


Infographic asks, 'Is coffee a fair trade for the farmer?'

I was sent an interesting infographic today by a journalist called Alex Hillsberg. It reveals the disparity between the average coffee drinker and the farmer who produces the coffee itself.

Alex describes his findings as a hypothetical look at a billion-dollar business that 'ties up people across continents, cultures and social classes'.

It's the second interesting article I've read today that pokes an accusing finger at certain sections of the coffee industry, and I can't help but wonder where the finger will point next.

Katy Salter's Guardian blog looks at 'The rise of the coffee pod machines', highlighting the poor environmental credentials of the Nespresso brand, as well as its immediate competitors.

Mintel is quoted as saying that coffee pods 'have a big future because they meet the dual needs of the modern consumer for quality and convenience'. I can't disagree, having owned a Tassimo and finding myself eyeing up one of illy's pod systems. These things have grown like iPods over the last few years, and it looks like a 'fad' that may continue to roll.

Coffee pod systems do save time and mess, and I'm aware I'm probably not getting the very best coffee by using them, but now I'm thinking that I shouldn't be bothering at all. I seem to have been blinded by the expensive marketing that tells me I should drink convenient coffee and not even think about the people that produce it, nor the fact that much of the waste isn't recycled and quite possibly contributes to the expanding Pacific Trash Vortex.

I'm attending the London Coffee Festival in a couple of weeks and will pose some teasing questions to the suppliers on show. I'll get back to you.