Event set to explore issues of coffee production to help cafes and consumers become more sustainable

Brighton is home to a thriving scene of independent coffee shops - but is the journey from bean to barista sustainable enough?

The Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP), at the University of Sussex, is running an interactive event on Monday 20 th May at One Church, Brighton, to explore the issues surrounding the production and consumption of coffee, and what we can do to address them.

Through a combination of talks and discussion, the evening will explore issues including supply chains, recycling, violence, gender, biodiversity and local economies, ending with suggestions as to how coffee houses and consumers can be more sustainable.

The SSRP believes that the sustainable production and consumption of coffee could get us a step closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Joseph Alcamo , Director of SSRP and former Chief Scientist of UN Environment, said: “Behind the taste of a good cup of cappuccino lies a long backstory. While coffee provides enjoyment to its drinkers, jobs to its farmers, and trade dollars to poorer countries, there are also less positive sides to its global chain that we need to be aware of and work on.

“We’re hoping that this public event will help uncover some of the problems behind the production of coffee, and identify real solutions for change. We think that coffee has the scope to become a more sustainable industry and contribute to our progress at tackling the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Speakers at the event include:

  • Konrad Brits, Chief Executive Officer at Falcon Coffees
  • , co-founder of reuse network Freegle

  • Fi O’Brien, co-owner of Girls who Grind Coffee
  • Al Tomlins, co-founder and Head of Coffee at Small Batch Coffee Roasters
  • Ben Szobody, founder of Brighton Pro Baristas
  • , Associate Tutor in Anthropology, University of Sussex

    Chaired by Ann Light , Professor of Design and Creative Technologies at the University of Sussex, each speaker will have 5 minutes to explain a particular issue, before opening up the conversation so that attendees can contribute their thoughts on how to make each step in the life cycle of a cup of coffee more sustainable.

    Drawing all of these ideas together, SSRP then hope to create a manifesto which can be distributed to local roasters, café owners and recyclers.

    ‘What’s is the future of coffee?’ is a free event running at One Church, Gloucester Place, Brighton from 6-8pm on 20 th May. Registration online is required: www.eventbrite.co.uk­/e/what-is-the-future-of-coffee-a-coffee-evening-with-sussex-university-tickets-60531744076

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    By: Stephanie Allen
    Last updated: Thursday, 9 May 2019

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