General

I wish I was your morning coffee, touching so lightly upon your lips. Touching lightly and then entering your sweet abyss. I wish I was its aroma, its curls of foaming cream. I wish I was its caffeine and those brown hues that serenade your heart following your dawn, my dusk, your rise, my rest.

General

My day starts with coffee, rich and dark, with a creamy oat milk. I've been a caffeine addict for decades, but at least I have it down to one french press of decaf per day. Otherwise the headaches start and I have work to be getting on with.

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To grow coffee on fertile land while people around it starve and suffer is evil. Why mince words? It is.

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The aroma of the coffee is part of the rhythm of the day, another anchor in routine that soothes and gives a sense of normality and predictability.

General

Ninety percent of the world's coffee is grown in developing countries with their cheap labour, while the consumption is largely in the developed industrialised nations. This luxury and addictive product that gives no nutritional value, is grown on their land to be exported while they suffer and die of malnutrition - and, oh yes, makes a lot of people very wealthy as they trade in futures contracts on Wall Street.

Twenty one thousand children die per day of malnutrition related diseases - thats about seven 9/11's per day; they need real food. Yet a simple boycott of such cash crops would harm more than help. If the price of coffee drops by even one or two percent, people in Sierra Leone start burying their children. They need their native lands returned to them so they can grow their traditional crops for their own domestic consumption. That their land is taken up with a cash crop while they lack food is wrong. Economics will never give an answer, only more confusion, because the system is set up to centralise resources in the developed countries. It's time to see modern day slavery in broader terms and see the incalculable costs to human lives. I love drinking coffee, and I will buy it until there is system change, but I'd rather they could grow real food on their land and be healthy. Increased use of land for cash crops is linked to deforestation - people need to eat and they only fair trade for using their land in this way is proper food in ample supply.

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"Come on, Cleo, there's a coffee shop in town that charges according to carbon footprint. The vegan stuff costs way less than other places, and I think they just go ahead and make their own oat-milk, oats by the sack load are mega cheap!"

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Coffee can be synthesised these days, flavours so real not a person in a hundred can tell the difference.