The other day, I was researching health externalities of our current food system and came across a shocking statistic: In many countries in the world, farmers are more than twice as likely as the general population to commit suicide. They are frequently cited as the occupational group most likely to have suicidal thoughts and follow through … Continue reading When Is Hug A Farmer Day? Of Farmers’ Mental Health and Suicide
This week there has been some seriously great writing about under-the-radar topics that concern food and agriculture, but provide more general insights on the links between countries, sectors and people. I always enjoy link roundups from the blogs and newsletters I follow to get a peek into their reading lists; I hope you will, too! Drought … Continue reading North and South American Food Links (Link Roundup)
In the last weeks, I’ve been wandering between two worlds, trying to bring sense and structure into what I’ve seen and what I am reading. We are currently working on collecting field data from coffee farmers in Honduras, and I was lucky enough to visit several regions of the country while adapting our questionnaire and data … Continue reading Dispatches from the Field: Honduras
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been on a roll lately with important and inspired yearly foci. After last year’s Year of the Soils, 2016 highlights a much-neglected food group: Pulses. I would venture to guess that it is so neglected that many people don’t even know what it refers to – which … Continue reading Taking The Pulse on The Year of Pulses
“I’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, before turning to the sport. As you can probably … Continue reading Indonesia’s Forest Fires: Is Ag To Blame?
The coffee supply chain is famously shaped like an hourglass (or, if you will, a drip coffee machine): the broad demand at the top is connected to the millions of small producers at the bottom by a handful of powerful roasters. In 2013, the ten largest roasters controlled more than 40% of total world coffee … Continue reading Too Strong Coffee? Concentration at the Top and Anti-Trust Concerns
Who has the hardest job in the coffee value chain? Is it the farmer, who has to create just the right growing conditions for each single coffee plant, countering unpredictable climate, droughts and deluges, pests and diseases and an uncertain economic future year after year? The processor, who has to balance the orders he gets from … Continue reading The Hardest Job Of All