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Coffee: Trouble Brewing?

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It’s the second most-traded commodity in the world after oil but how much do you think about your cup of coffee?

From coffee farmers in Colombia to the trash produced by your single-cup coffee machine, Making Contact and Green Grid Radio team up to count the costs of your morning cup o’joe.


  • Jairo Martinez, Mariana Cruz, Suzana Angarita, coffee farmers
  • Jeff Goldman, former executive director Fairtrade Resource Network
  • Jeff Chean, Principal and Chief Coffee Guy Groundworks Roasters
  • John Hazen, single-cup coffee machine owner
  • Rebecca Jewell, recycling program manager for Davis Street Transfer Station
  • Hosts: George Lavender and Mallory Smith
  • Contributing Producers: Laura Flynn, Jennifer Dunn, Mallory Smith
  • Music:
    • Pensacola Twilight: Lee Rosevere
    • Cafetero: Christian Martinez
    • Grand Caravan: Blue Dot Sessions
    • Them Never Love No Bans: Hot Fire 
    • La Boite A Sons – Contest Contributions: Various Artists

Or listen to separate segments:

From Bean To Cup

Over 500,000 Colombian families depend on coffee farming to survive. But 5 decades of war between left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries forced millions of Colombians to flee their land and abandon their crops. In recent years the violence has decreased and many farmers have returned to their land, but getting back to farming hasn’t been easy. Jennifer Dunn reports on how Colombia’s small-scale coffee farmers are struggling to protect their crops and their way of life.

Fairtrade v Fairtrade

Fairtrade is Fairtrade right? Wrong. As Mallory Smith of Green Grid Radio found out, in 2012 the Fairtrade movement suffered an ugly breakup that resulted in two different organizations, both claiming the Fairtrade label, but with different visions of what it stood for…

Kill the K-Cup?

Single-cup brewing is wildly popular- partly because it’s marketed as being so easy- you simply pop the pod in the machine and you have a cup of coffee. But it’s what happens to that little pod after you’re done making coffee that’s causing concern. Making Contact producer Laura Flynn decided to find out what happens next..


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