Brighton is, pound for pound, the biggest coffee-drinking city in England. As coffee lovers we demand the best from the little bean but, in a city as green as ours, is there enough of a focus on the sustainability of the industry?

While it has been widely accepted that the business of coffee is not sustainable as it stands in the long-term, certain forward-thinking companies are beginning to work out ways to change the face of coffee and the future for many involved in its production.

While speaking to Perfect Daily Grind last year, the president of the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), Daniele Giovannucci, said, “The key has been a declining income and more aggressive production systems requiring greater investment and risks. In real-dollar prices, farmers earn less than they did decades ago.

“Without an economic foundation, it is difficult to conceive of thriving farming communities that can be the basis for a diversified and growing industry. There are visionary leaders who believe that sustainability is the basis of long-term profit and are running their firms that way. Yet, some of the large firms in coffee lack any vision except for the uninspiring one of maximising their short-term profit.”

Taking a step to help tackle the issue and raise awareness, The Sussex Sustainability Research Programme at the University of Sussex have announced they will be running an interactive event on Monday 20 May at the One Church, Brighton.

The event will explore these issues with some of the most well-respected experts in their field in the UK. These include Konrad Brits (Falcon Coffees), Cat Fletcher (Freegle), Emma Keller (WWF), Dr Jonathan Newman (University of Sussex), Fi O’Brien (Girls Who Grind Coffee), Al Tomlins (Small Batch Coffee Roasters) and Ben Szobody (Pro Baristas).

The talks will last for around five minutes each before those in attendance are able to contribute their thoughts, with the SSRP hoping to create a manifesto that can help coffee shops, roasters and more in the future.

The evening starts at 6pm and will run until 8pm and, to book your spot at the event, click on the image below and follow the sign-up link.

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