Is There Poverty in Your Cup of Coffee?: An overview of the global coffee value chain By Fred S.M. Kawuma

Cover: Paperback
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Coffee is a favourite beverage to many all over the globe. It has a reputation as one of the world’s most widely consumed beverages. Over the years, there have been different innovations where coffee outlets, cafes, and others introduced new ways of serving customers. This book provides an overviews of the global coffee value chain and highlights the need for sustainability through partnerships at all levels. The book is structured as follows:
Chapter One introduces coffee as the world’s favourite beverage, highlighting global consumption and zooming in on the European and North American markets. The Nordic countries notably have a higher per capita consumption than others, followed by other European nations, with evidence of Europe’s position as the most significant destination of all coffee imports from the producing countries. Chapter Two focuses on consumption in the rest of the world, covering Latin America, Asia, Oceania, and Africa — the significance of the emerging markets and the potential in those markets are noteworthy. Chapter Three focuses on Coffee and Health, and discusses various studies that show the benefits of moderate coffee drinking and advice on modest consumption based on scientific evidence.
Chapter Four discusses coffee and poverty — the hot topic. The chapter highlights the plight of the coffee producers, the unfavourable conditions under which they operate and a call for action to all concerned parties. Chapter Five focuses on where the coffee is grown, pointing out the top-producing countries and how it is grown in those countries. Brazil is the top producer, and the Latin American region leads in production, accounting for almost 60 per cent of the global output. Some smaller producers are also mentioned, especially for their exceptional quality.
Chapter Six discusses coffee and culture and explicitly highlights the 
Ethiopian coffee ceremony. All connoisseurs want this encounter, which starts with roasting the beans in a clay or metallic skillet over a charcoal stove. The roast’s aroma fills the room — an important Ethiopian experience. After roasting the coffee, the traditional method of getting the ground powder is by pounding the roasted beans in a mortar using a wooden pestle. Subsequently, the powder is poured into a clay pot with boiling water, which is generally left on the fire and from which the beverage is served to all in small round cups. It is also ensured that coffee keeps brewing in such a pot as the ceremony goes on so all those present can drink as much as they want. The coffee cultures in the different countries are mentioned and discussed. However, there is a discussion on the origins of both Arabica and Robusta, the two commonest types, explicitly focusing on Ethiopia as the origin of Arabica coffee and Uganda as the origin of Robusta and the Buganda coffee culture.
Chapter Seven discusses the genesis of the World Coffee Producers Forum as the producers’ initiative to address farmers’ global plight and what it has achieved. Chapter Eight looks at some innovations that could increase producers’ earnings. These are not exhaustive but give a glimpse of some current actions, acknowledging that there is much more to do to address the issue of poverty among coffee producers. Chapter Nine discusses a few transformational ideas and their potential impact on the global coffee industry. Chapter Ten handles the proposed path to prosperity for producers. In contrast, Chapter Eleven discusses some emerging issues that the producers closely follow and watch. Chapter Twelve narrates the author’s story and coffee experience, which provided the background to the writing of this book.

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