International Coffee Day, a collective expression of our love of coffee? Maybe, but it’s also so much more.
Most countries around the world celebrate a national coffee day typically on 29th September or 1st October. Whilst most countries recognise some form of national day there was no cohesion or uniformity in the coffee industry until recently.
The first International Coffee day was held five years ago in Milan on 1st October 2015. However the event is more than just a simple celebration. It was created by the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) as an event to promote fair traded coffee and raise the plight of coffee growers around the world.
What is international coffee day?
International Coffee Day is primarily about raising awareness for farmers and those who depend on coffee for their livelihood. Around the world more than 25 million coffee producers, many of whom are small growers, and over 125 million people directly or indirectly rely on the coffee industry.
The ICO, represents 98% of world coffee production and 67% of world consumption. Exporting members include over 40 countries that grow coffee and importing members include the UK, the EU as well as Japan and Russia. As the biggest coffee organisation on the planet they have the biggest platform to encourage collective support for the coffee industry to help farmers get a fairer price for their coffee.
What’s international coffee day 2020 all about?
Unfortunately while the price of a cup of coffee in cafés has never been higher, the amount that farmers are paid for the coffee beans they produce is at the lowest it’s ever been.
It’s not a new story, farmers tend to lose out when it comes to the coffee supply chain. The sad reality is that some farmers don’t earn enough to provide for themselves and their families. Consequently many are starting to look at producing other crops altogether.
Whilst coffee production itself isn’t really at risk (being the second most traded commodity in the world behind oil) an exodus of farmers spells a worrying trend, which if allowed to continue could ultimately reduce the variety and quality of coffee grown.
This would a great loss to us as roasters and coffee drinkers who would miss out on unique flavours and coffee experiences that we take for granted.
Protecting the future of coffee growing
In a bid to combat the decline in young people becoming involved in the industry this year International Coffee Day 2020 will help launch a programme that will support a number of young entrepreneurs in the coffee sector to develop and scale up their innovative businesses.
The programme will set out to combine adequate financial support, skills development, and training, to try to ensure sustainability and scaling of innovative youth-led ventures to help guarantee a future for the coffee industry. Which is why everyone involved in coffee is being asked to get involved and make a difference, from producers, to roasters, to governments and the coffee drinking public themselves to help support the provision of a living wage for coffee farmers everywhere.
How can I make a difference?
Changing your consumption of coffee can help to make a difference to coffee farming. By choosing to buy coffee which has been fair and ethically sourced through programmes like Fairtrade can help distribute wealth more equitably.
We have a fantastic range of Fairtrade coffees on our webshop that you can browse including single origin and espresso blends.