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Tuesday, September 29, 2015
WHY IS INTERNATIONAL COFFEE DAY IMPORTANT?
FREE COFFEE TODAY--SEE LIST AT END OF TODAY'S POSTING:
In many places around the world, including the USA, today is celebrated as a
national coffee day.But the UN
sanctioned trade group known as the International Coffee Organization (ICO) has
officially called for October 1, 2015 to be the first International Coffee
Day.So what’s the deal? Guest blogger
Peter Giuliano is a specialty coffee symposium director for the ICO and he
calls for awareness of the importance of internationalist solidarity in the
world coffee industry.
GUEST BLOG—By Peter Giuliano--As a political concept,
internationalism emphasizes trade, exchange, communication and respect between
and among people and nations. It respects all humans on the planet as citizens
of the world, each with human rights. It promotes connection and solidarity
across national borders. It is the opposite of nationalism and its extreme
forms, jingoism and xenophobia.
of course, essentially and historically international. Indigenous only to East
Africa, it made its way to Asia early in its history, and it was there it was
first traded internationally- first by the Arabs, then by Europeans, and later
in the Americas and throughout Asia.
The trade of
coffee, along with other foods like spices, sugar, cod, and cacao, helped
create the trade network we still use today. Sadly, this trade often carried
with it international abuses- the slave trade was a part of this same network,
and much of the structure of international trade was built upon the framework
thinking of internationalism in coffee, therefore, we must recognize the
history and potential for international oppression, and understand that the
best remedy for that is positive international exchange, a commitment to
international human rights, and increased communication.Today, the specialty coffee community is one
of the most international there is- it is frankly impossible to get coffee into
a person’s cup without engaging in international trade in some way.
on International Coffee Day, we are called to celebrate the benefits of
internationalism in coffee while we recommit to rejecting its ills, and seeking
progress towards enlightened international exchange and solidarity. Today, we
remind ourselves that the only way to move towards better quality, true
sustainability, and universal prosperity in coffee is to embrace the global
diversity of our trade. Everyone can- and should- do this. How? I’m glad you
Celebrate Internationalism Vertically
sit on the coffee chain from coffee farmer to coffee drinker, you are a part of
a connected line of individuals which grows up from the farm into the cup. This
International Coffee Day, identify and celebrate someone else in that line. If
you’re a barista, investigate the coffee you’re serving today; there was a
farmer somewhere who grew it- and you might even know their name or their
learn a little more?
Do you know
exactly where the coffee was grown? Can you pronounce the name of the town? Can
you find their email- either by googling or asking the roaster- and thank them
for their work?
tweet at them? If you’re a coffee lover- can you find out where the coffee came
from, and see if you can contact them?
This year, I
plan to reach out to one of my favorite co-ops, CENFROCAFE** in Northern Peru,
to say hi and remind them that I look forward to drinking their coffee every
year. I’ll also offer my help and solidarity. For those whom face a language
barrier, why not use Google Translate to break down the barrier, which is the
very purpose for which it was designed?
you’re a coffee roaster, a barista, an importer, a consumer, or a salesperson,
you have an international peer somewhere in Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa,
the Americas, or elsewhere. Today, why not rekindle that contact or establish a
new one? Solidarity among coffee people transcends political boundaries- it’s
likely that a coffee roaster in Europe faces many of the same challenges and
aspirations as one in Australia. Why not reach out to one? I think I’ll email
my friend and hero Yuko Itoi of Cafetime in Kyoto, who I’ve lost contact with
in recent years.
Get involved in International Efforts
powerful things happening in coffee right now are international efforts to
improve the coffee trade worldwide. World Coffee Events is behind the World
Barista Championship and other global coffee competitions. Re:co Symposium is
an intentional effort to bring international coffee leaders together for idea
sharing and to foster innovation. World Coffee Events and the Coffee Quality
Institute are international organizations dedicated to coffee research,
development, and progress.
International Coffee Organization is the organization dedicated to economic
internationalism, and is holding a Global Coffee Forum in Milan this very week.
As you may have heard, the SCAE and SCAA- already international organizations
themselves- are exploring ways to work together, to form the largest international
coffee network dedicated to quality, sustainability and progress we’ve ever
If you care
about internationalism, get involved in one or more of these efforts. As a
first step, you could watch one of the Re:co talks on the subject- perhaps Paul
Stack’s appeal for international cooperation, or the ICO’s own Mauricio
Galindo’s talk about the international coffee market.
But, most of
all, just recognizing the international effort it took to get delicious coffee
into the cup is a critical first step.
Have a great
International Coffee Day, everyone.
**See October 3, 2015
posting on Pillar to Post[pillartopost.org] for an update on CENTROCAFE, the
coffee producing cooperative in Northern Peru mentioned in this blog.
FREE COFFEE TODAY
coffee here, but in honor of National Coffee Day—today--Starbucks will plant a
coffee tree for every bag of coffee purchased.
Coffee & Tea will give you a free small cup of its Major Dickason Blend
with the purchase of any baked good, oatmeal or fresh food item.
is offering a free small cup of coffee and an original glazed doughnut.
Death Wish Coffee offers free shipping on online coffee purchases today only: http://www.deathwishcoffee.com/ Members of
the IKEA Family program a free cup of coffee. But then, members always get a
free cup of coffee.
is offering a cup of coffee for 25 cents. If you buy an Allegro Coffee, Whole
Foods will donate $1 to the Whole Planet Foundation.
Coffee says that for every cup of Amy's Blend purchased on National Coffee Day,
it will donate a cup of coffee to nurses and families in cancer centers around