Monday, May 21, 2007

International Paper And Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Honored For Environmentally Friendly Hot Paper Cup

May 21st, 2007 03:09 PM EDT

International Paper and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters have been awarded a 2007 Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), the world's largest coffee trade association. The sustainability awards are given annually to those in the specialty coffee industry that have created innovative projects to expand and promote sustainability.

The two companies received the award for the category of "Sustainable Business Partnerships Resulting in a Sustainable Product" in honor of their partnership that resulted in the ecotainer(TM) cup -- the first hot paper beverage cup made from fully renewable resources. The ecotainer, which was unveiled last summer, is lined with a bio-plastic derived from corn, making it compostable under the proper conditions.

"We are very excited that our partnership with Green Mountain Coffee is being recognized by the SCAA," said Austin Lance, vice president and general manager of International Paper Foodservice, in a prepared statement. "Finding a partner such as GMCR whose core values align with ours allows us to drive an increased focus on sustainability through industry innovation. We will continue to develop products that reinforce our commitment to environmental stewardship."

Said Paul Comey, vice president, environmental affairs at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters: "We're so pleased to be recognized for bringing this product to market with International Paper. This is a great example of how good business partnerships can make a positive impact on the world and in particular, on the environment, which is the real winner here. This cup is an important step in our continuing efforts to bring new, more sustainable solutions to market."

Each year, Americans use more than 15 billion paper hot cups, and that number is expected to grow to 23 billion by 2010. Conventional hot paper cups use a waterproof lining made from a petroleum-based plastic that is not sustainable. By choosing to utilize a corn-based cup liner, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters alone will conserve the consumption of nearly a quarter of a million pounds of non-renewable petrochemical materials every year.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wendy's Inks Folgers Coffee Deal In Breakfast Push

By Carolyn Pritchard

SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones) - Wendy's International Inc. on Friday said it has inked a deal with Procter & Gamble to sell a custom blend of Folger's coffee, part of the fast-food operator's push to expand its breakfast offerings.

The proprietary blend of Folgers Gourmet Selections coffee, Wendy's (WEN) said, will become a "centerpiece" of its new breakfast menu, which it expects to offer in between 20% and 30% of its North American restaurants by the end of the year.

The deal comes on the heels of expanded breakfast offerings, including coffee upgrades, at rivals McDonald's Corp. (MCD) and Burger King Holdings Inc. (BKC) .

Earlier in the year, Wendy's cited the expansion of its breakfast program as one of the moves underpinning its expectation for a boost in its profit his year and beyond. It forecast full-year per-share earnings of $1.17 to $1.23, with same-store sales rise 3% to 4% in 2007, vs. a less than 1% increase in 2006. Revenue for the period was projected to rise 5% to 6%.

Last month, however, Wendy's said it was exploring strategic options, including its possible sale. The Dublin, Ohio-based company completed its spinoff of Tim Hortons in the third quarter of 2006 and the sale of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Wendy's were off 6 cents in late afternoon trading, at $39.05.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-18-07 1654ET

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Great coffee, just don't ask where it came from

Townsville, Australia

At $50 a cup, it's been called the world's Number One coffee - but perhaps "Number Two" might be more appropriate.

Luwak coffee, or kopi luwak, is made in Indonesia from beans that have been eaten, partly-digested then excreted by a small, cat-like marsupial called the luwak, or Asian palm civet (paradoxus hermaphroditus).

The excretions, resembling slabs of peanut brittle around 10cm long, are then dried and broken up, cleaned and roasted, the result looking not unlike regular coffee beans.

Increasingly popular in the United States and Japan, the $50 cups of luwak coffee are available in Australia only at the Heritage Tea Rooms in the Hervey Range just west of Townsville, where "everyone calls it cat poo coffee," according to Michelle Sharpe, who runs the cafe with husband Allan.

Perhaps a dozen people a month try out their smooth, sweet brew, which the Sharpes have not yet promoted or advertised since it was first on the menu last November, relying on word-of-mouth.

The cafe's website is currently being updated to include it.

Comments have been "99 per cent favourable," especially because the digestive juices in the luwak's stomach have removed the bitterness associated with some types of normally-processed coffees.

"People who willingly pay the $50 are uplifted by the thrill of the experience," Allan Sharpe says, adding that it's "the world's rarest and most exclusive coffee."

Customers are rewarded with a "certificate of experience" dated and witnessed - just like those presented to people who've climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge or flown over the Antarctic.

But the less adventurous (or less affluent) often decline to try the luwak coffee, saying "you couldn't pay me to drink that," Michelle went on.

You can brew it yourself!

Gift boxes of luwak coffee also imported from Indonesia include the animal's droppings wrapped in plastic - which the Sharpes say are treated with gamma rays by quarantine officials on arrival in Australia.

The boxes, including 250g of coffee and the droppings encased in plastic, retail at $160.

The coffee is grown in the Indonesian islands of Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra, also in parts of the Philippines, Vietnam and southern India.

Annual world production is believed to be only around 300kg, with a market price of around $US1,000 per kilogram.

Fruit is a favourite food of the luwak, along with insects and small mammals.

The cats, which weight up to 5kg, feast on the ripe coffee berries, and their faeces containing the inner beans are harvested by hand, washed and lightly roasted so as not to affect the complex flavours developed during the processing.

Allan Sharpe recently introduced his luwak coffee to a media lunch in Brisbane.

Peer pressure and the fact that it was free, led to your correspondent gallantly downing a cup of the smooth, dark brown liquid which, as the experts promised, was smoothly pleasant with no bitter after-taste.

No need for the Quickeze - and no subsequent effects later.....

Writers around the world have had some fun with the exotic brew; among their reviews recorded on the Internet:

"I mentioned it to friends over a game of poker and their reactions varied from 'yuk' to 'you are bloody kidding, right?' I fed it to three of them and everyone loved it. All hail the mighty luwak."

"If you have a true coffee lover in your life then baby, this coffee is for them."

"It's as good as my private life is bad. this is the kind of coffee you renounce your religion and sell your child for."

"Here's the straight poop on luwak coffee."

"Another cup of poop, please."

Originally posted on the Fairfax Australia

(no credit was given to the writer...something we had to credit)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Starbucks' policy grinds farmers and ignores Fair Trade guidelines

by Mark Maher '08
Saint Joseph's University

According to their mission statement, Starbucks is committed to "…apply[ing] the highest standards of excellence to the purchasing, roasting and fresh delivery of our coffee." Indeed, Starbucks does appear to apply the highest standards when roasting and delivering their coffee. Unfortunately for their farmers, and for any person with some sense of humanity, Starbucks does not apply these same standards to the purchasing of their coffee.

Of course, if one were to ask Starbucks, you would almost believe that they invented fair trade. According to a leaflet available on their website, Starbucks purchased approximately 11.5 million pounds of fair trade coffee, which accounts for 10 percent of all purchased fair-trade coffee.

First, according to their own statement, companies other than Starbucks purchase 90 percent of all fair trade coffee.

Furthermore, fair-trade coffee farmers only produce around two percent of the world's coffee. Therefore, the majority of the coffee you buy at Starbucks comes from providers who are not fair-trade certified. reports that Starbucks claims to pay an average of $1.20/lb., fairly close to the minimum fair-trade average of $1.26/lb. At first glance, it appears as though Starbucks is independently promoting fair wages for farmers, without a fair-trade certification.

However, this is an average number, which takes into account both conventional and organic (traditionally higher priced) coffees. Furthermore, Starbucks does not import their coffee. The $1.20/lb. average is paid to the coffee importers, the middlemen.

Realistically, the average actually paid to the farmers actually comes to about $.80, far below the fair-trade minimum.

A more specific example elucidates Starbucks' record even more clearly. According to, Starbucks charges almost $26/lb. for some of their Ethiopian specialty coffees. However, only about five to ten percent of this price actually goes to the farmers. Ethiopian farmers, very aware of how the global market works, have been campaigning for the right to have their own name attached to the coffee they produce, a move that would give them more leveraging power when selling their coffee. As of yet, Starbucks has not given this right to the farmers.

It is a real shame that a company as large as Starbucks feels the need to pull the wool over its consumers' eyes. Starbucks is nothing without the people who buy their coffee, and it is poor business, in my opinion, for them to mislead those who put food on their plates.

Since Starbucks is apparently unwilling to provide their farmers a fair wage, it is our responsibility as consumers to let them know what we think.

If you think that Starbucks is not living up to the standards that a socially conscious company should, let them know - write letters, call them up. If Starbucks refuses to change, then maybe we should not buy their coffee. There are alternatives here on campus, and elsewhere, that provide fair-trade certified coffee. Starbucks may provide us with coffee, but we provide them with their business.

This was originally posted on February 7, 2007 by the Saint Joseph's University
Campus News Philadephia PA SJUHawknews

Commodity Primer - Coffee the Stimulant

The Financial Express - Commodity Watch

What do we know about coffee and what are the popular varieties of coffee?

Coffee is a world famous beverage and is widely drunk in almost every part of the world. There are around 25 varieties of coffee known to the world. Coffe Arabica and Coffea Robusta are the two most commonly cultivated species of coffee widely used throughout the world.

What is the global coffee production per annum? Which are the world’s major producers of coffee?

The world production of coffee is around 6 million tonne per annum. Brazil (33.16%), Columbia (11.65%), Vietnam (10.61%), Indonesia (5.97%), Mexico (4.59%) and India (4.60%) are the world’s major coffee producers contributing to around 70% of the total coffee produced in the world.

Which are the major consumers of coffee in the world?

The US, Canada, Japan. Germany, Italy, UK, Poland and Spain are the major consumers and importers of coffee. India consumes around 30% of its total production. The Indian consumption of coffee is also increasing with time.

Which are the major coffee growing regions in India?

Chikmagalur, Coorg and Hassan in Karnataka, Wayanad, Travancore and Nelliampathy in Kerala, Pulneys, Nilgiris, Shevroys (Salem) and Anamalais (Coimbatore) in Tamil Nadu are considered as the traditional coffee growing regions in India whereas the non-traditional areas include the eastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa .The north-eastern states of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh are other coffee growing regions in the country.

What is the market scenario for Indian coffee?

India is the world's fifth largest producer of coffee, producing around 3 lakh tonne annually. Indian coffee is considered to be one of the most stimulating coffee in the world, being mild in nature i.e. having a low acid content. India is the only country, which grows all of its coffee under shade. India currently exports about 70% of its total coffee production to around 44 countries across the globe.

What are the factors affecting the market for coffee?

The size and availability of coffee stocks worldwide, changes in coffee consumption pattern governed by factors such as standard of living and cultural acceptability, availability and prices of coffee substitutes like tea and cocoa are the factors apart from the climatic factors which determines coffee prices.

—Courtesy - MCX Training


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Drinking coffee can ward off diabetes and ....


Updated: 2007-05-02 10:37

February 24, 2007.

Drinking coffee can help ward off type 2 diabetes and may even help prevent certain cancers, according to panelists discussing the benefits -- and risks -- of the beverage at a scientific meeting.

A visitor checks coffee beans at the 'International Coffee Festival 2007' in the southern Indian city of Bangalore February 24, 2007. Drinking coffee can help ward off type 2 diabetes and may even help prevent certain cancers, according to panelists discussing the benefits -- and risks -- of the beverage at a scientific meeting. [Reuters]

NEW YORK - Drinking coffee can help ward off type 2 diabetes and may even help prevent certain cancers, according to panelists discussing the benefits -- and risks -- of the beverage at a scientific meeting.

"We're coming from a situation where coffee had a very negative health image," Dr. Rob van Dam of the Harvard School of Public Health, who has conducted studies on coffee consumption and diabetes, told Reuters Health. Nevertheless, he added, "it's not like we're promoting coffee as the new health food and asking people who don't like coffee to drink coffee for their health."

Van Dam participated in a "controversy session" on coffee at the Experimental Biology 2007 meeting underway in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Lenore Arab of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA also took part, presenting results of a review of nearly 400 studies investigating coffee consumption and cancer risk.

There's evidence, Arab noted, that the beverage may protect against certain types of colon cancer, as well as rectal and liver cancer, possibly by reducing the amount of cholesterol, bile acid and natural sterol secretion in the colon, speeding up the passage of stool through the colon (and thus cutting exposure of the lining of the intestine to potential carcinogens in food), and via other mechanisms as well.

However, Arab did find evidence that coffee may increase the risk of leukemia and stomach cancer, with the case for leukemia being strongest.

The findings suggest that people who may be vulnerable to these risks -- for example pregnant women and children -- should limit coffee consumption, van Dam noted in an interview.

He and his colleagues are now conducting a clinical trial to get a clearer picture of the diabetes-preventing effects of coffee, which were first reported in 2002. Since then, he noted, there have been more than 20 studies on the topic.

Van Dam and his team are also looking for which of the "hundreds to thousands" of components of coffee might be responsible for these effects. It's probably not caffeine, he noted, given that decaf and caffeinated coffee have similar effects on reducing diabetes risk.

His top candidate, van Dam says, is chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that slows the absorption of glucose in the intestines.