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Posts tagged ‘food miles’

Journey of a coffee bean

Like many of you, I require a regular supply of coffee to contribute meaningfully to society. As I discovered after I had my first child (now a strapping 9 year old lad) cups of tea with teabags where much harder to make onehanded while balancing a grizzly child on the other hip. In the bleary mornings of early parenthood, instant coffee was quicker and easier to make, and has remained on my kitchen bench ever since. In my quest to eat more locally, changing habits one step at a time, I read the back of my coffee jar, it was imported to Australia from the Netherlands, and was made from ‘imported’ beans.

Whoa there nellie!! So I think this means coffee beans were imported to the Netherlands, (from where?), and then the instant coffee was sent to Australia from the Netherlands a whopping distance of 15,870 km (and that’s if you travel in a straight line!) That seems to be a ridiculous journey for a cup of coffee. There has to be a better source of my morning beverage.

I am now on a mission to find a supply of coffee with less frequent flyer points than me. On one hand fairtrade coffee beans are available, with these at least easily located. I also bought a hand powered coffee grinder, with an attached air-tight storage canister, and now not only am I saving power, but am also building up a powerful arm muscles, when I don’t dump the grinder in visitors laps, telling them to earn their keep!

A quick internet search found coffee growers in the northern NSW region, most of whom seen to grow, process and package their own beans. This reduces the distance travelled to around 2000 km but doesn’t exactly pass the ‘local’ test! Maybe I will have to move to Byron Bay instead?

I will keep you posted on my coffee quest, but if anybody out there has more information, I would love to hear from you.

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