Sustainability is the word on the street right now. Take a glance at the range of topics presented at international coffee events over the course of the past year and you'll see that sustainability matters. You’ll also see that the word covers an incredibly broad range of topics and isn’t easily defined. One definition describes sustainability “As an ability or capacity of something to be maintained or to sustain itself. It's about taking what we need to live now, without jeopardising the potential for people in the future to meet their needs. If an activity is said to be sustainable, it should be able to continue forever.”
So how do we relate that to the coffee industry? Do we start at cafes with wasteful paper cups and the sustainability of baristas within the industry or do we look much deeper in to the sustainability of coffee as an organic product? The average age of a farmer (being 56) has been highlighted repeatedly in recent times so surely we can’t ignore the sustainability of the producers themselves.
As you can see the topic is varied and endless and not one that we at BGE feel we can define or restrict. To promote discussion and transparency on this topical subject we have set up a Facebook group to allow for baristas to share ideas, stories and debate to their hearts content. Sustainability or the lack of within our industry is not abating so lets get talking and take action on improving the industry for us and for generations of baristas to come!
SCAE and WCE are also bringing the sustainability debate to the forefront this June 23-25 with a sustainability forum at World of Coffee set to become a hub of discussion including key talks on the economic, environmental and social challenges we face with regard to sustainability. Keep an eye out on the #BGEsus Facebook page for more info on this as we countdown to WOC.