This International Coffee Day let’s look at how the coffee industry has evolved in the country. Gone are those days when coffee was only about filter coffee or Kaapi in the south or for that matter a handful of businesses, which used to dominate the coffee industry through their mass production and heavy advertising in the country. Today we have a gamut of coffee roasting companies, which have come on board to provide organic, single-estate and sustainable coffee beans.
Nevertheless, compared to the consumption of mainstream coffee, we are still far behind. Companies like Blue Tokai, Black Baza, and The Flying Squirrel are changing the landscape of the coffee industry today. Number of restaurants and cafes now prefer to take organic and premium coffee beans from these sustainable brands, which not only believe in growing coffee in a sustainable manner but also provide fair pay to the farmers.
More than a trend
Today coffee is much popular than ever. Around three billions cups of coffee is being consumed every day and the number keeps on increasing with the various brands coming in to cater to the demands. However, more than a trend people are now aware of the various notes of coffee. Some prefer black, some cappuccino or some might like to have latte. People are now ready to pay more for a brand which grows and sells coffee sustainably.
Meanwhile, from the last couple of years, the country has started to witness the fourth-wave movement, where social entrepreneurs are joining hands with coffee growers or farmers to make this industry more sustainable. For example, Arshiya Urveeja Bose, who founded Black Baza Coffee, enables coffee producers to have stable livelihoods and aims to strengthen coffee farming practices that conserve biodiversity.
Arshiya, who did her Ph.D. on the political ecology of markets for biodiversity conservation from Cambridge University and studied sustainability certifications in coffee for over 6 years, says “The uneven power structure of coffee value chains and the inherent limitations of existing sustainability mechanisms is what emboldened us to create Black Baza Coffee.” Their partner farms grow coffee under the shade of forest trees, which is free of chemical pesticides. The company claims that 97.5% of partner farms also restrict the use of any chemical fertilizer.
Coffee businesses are also getting mindful with regards to their packaging. Not only is the packaging eco-friendly but also letting the customer know the estate from which their coffee has been sourced.