ABOUT UNION

WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO

ABOUT UNION

UNION DIRECT TRADE

MORE THAN JUST PAYING A FAIR PRICE

UNION DIRECT TRADE

BREWING TIPS

BREW COFFEE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL

BREWING TIPS

bee project update

Late last year I was excited to tell you about our new bee project in Guatemala aimed at improving the livelihoods of some of the farmers we work with there. This is a quick update on how the project is progressing.

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Hello I have recently returned from competing in the World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship in Shanghai where, for the first time, the organisers introduced a really exciting, interactive Spirit Bar round.

This new concept works like a mystery ingredient challenge – the barista can brew coffee using any filter brewing method that they like, but they have to brew on stage. They are given 5 minutes to brew up and make their two cocktails. Easy enough?

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In March I published a blog article on the complexity and issues around the cost of coffee production and my experiences from speaking to coffee farmers. Unsurprisingly I received lots of comments from people around the world equally passionate about the subject. I wanted to use this second blog post as a chance to follow up on your comments…

A couple of weeks ago an article on modern slavery in the coffee sector was shared by Sprudge, a well-known on-line coffee magazine.
Two of the world’s biggest coffee companies, Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts, admit that beans from Brazilian plantations using slave labour may have ended up in their coffee because they do not know the names of all the plantations that supply them.’ (The Guardian)

Michael Sheridan had already written a very insightful blog series on the issue.

The Ethical Trading Initiative has been very involved with developing training and raising awareness about the Modern Slavery Act 2015 .

However, the subject is so sensitive, that at first I really didn’t want to write about it. The article on Sprudge created quite some commotion, and I didn’t want to mix into the discussion. What struck me most about the reactions was that people were very upset and afraid that it would do harm to the overall Brazilian Coffee Sector.

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