Our taste for coffee has hit forests and biodiversity, but efforts are afoot to make production more sustainable.
The world’s second most tradeable commodity after oil; coffee growing and processing has proven itself to be a lucrative industry. The burgeoning coffee culture that sprang up over the last few decades has led to overwhelming success for handful of coffee franchises and a massive spike in supermarket sales. Of the high street coffee chains, Costa, Starbucks and Pret A Manger have cornered the lion’s share of the profits. While no one is denying their right to a buck, the big question is whether the profits these franchises are making are trickling down to the people actually growing the beans? And how green are they really? Is the high street coffee industry one we should buy into or should we be avoiding it altogether?