Coffee and a movie

I haven’t seen it yet, but the movie Black Gold promises to be a fascinating look at how coffee gets from tree to cup. Tadesse Meskala, head of the 74,000-strong Ethiopian Oromia coffee co-operative, is apparently the star of the piece. There are a couple of books out at the moment which also look at agricultural commodity chains under globalization, for example Journey to the Lands of Cotton by Erik Orsenna. There’s an extract here. The “commodity chain approach” is of course all the rage in PGR circles these days (or it was until recently, do I sense a backlash?), and not only with things like banana and coconut, but for underutilized and neglected species too. But I remain to be convinced that such a focus on “product” at the end of the chain is necessarily good for genetic diversity at its beginning unless you’re very careful.

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