Social media and the Internet have allowed the coffee industry to interact in a much closer way, and have also helped to raise awareness about many challenges in producing countries such as climate change, price instability and migration, issues that directly affect producers and in effect, the quality of coffee. In this approach it has become important to understand what is happening at origin, what the main challenges are and what each consumer can do to make more conscious and responsible purchasing decisions. Consumers in this way not only feel the pleasure of enjoying a fascinating coffee, but also trust in contributing to the reduction -even in a small proportion- of the environmental and social scourges that affect coffee production.
Connection in the fifth wave of coffee also comes with empathy, curiosity, science, humanity and ethics. There is a human call to act in a more ethical and conscious way in our relations with others and with the planet. The development of relationship-based trade can only be achieved through trust, and the only way to build trust is through transparency. The highest levels of trust occur when producers and buyers can be put on the same level with clear and transparent information. The fifth wave of coffee is about being open about the business of coffee, the playbook of coffee, and the pricing of coffee.
The sentiment is widespread, we all want to buy and enjoy a good cup of coffee while learning about its complex science but we also want to make sure that with each purchase there is a positive impact. Creating a circle of prosperity is an increasingly common goal in the fifth wave of coffee. And this is where both, roasters and coffee traders have a fundamental role to play.