So, at The Coffee Magazine, we're not a terribly huge fan of 'Days' with a capital D. There's not really any way to explain it that doesn't make it sound incredibly grinchy, but let's just say we approach each of them with a pinch of salt. But in all the furore that has grown around International Coffee Day over the last couple of years, we wanted to get to the bottom of why it all began, fairly recently in fact, in 2015. There are a few other Coffee Days floating around, but the October 1st crew seems to have come to prominence.
The first official date was 1 October 2015, as agreed by the members of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and was launched in Milan.
The ICO is the main intergovernmental organization for coffee, bringing together exporting and importing Governments to tackle the challenges facing the world coffee sector through international cooperation and their mission is stated as "to strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion in a market-based environment for the betterment of all participants in the coffee sector. It makes a practical contribution to the development of a sustainable world coffee sector and to reducing poverty in developing countries."
They've been around since 1963 and have been collected data from the Member countries all the way through. That's over 50 years of data collection specifically around how coffee is produced, imported and export and the trade relations involved! The produce a monthly Coffee Market Report which is extensive and available for all to see.
So why did they start a Day?
"International Coffee Day is an occasion that is used to promote and celebrate coffee as our most beloved beverage. It is also an opportunity to promote sustainable coffee practices and to raise awareness for the plight of coffee growers."
Well, that's certainly a promotion we can get behind. Even though the ICO exists and has been monitoring the situation for all these years, it seems they have little control over the extremely low price of coffee on the stock market. the Specialty Coffee Association did a cool drive this year highlighting ways that the coffee community can come together to change the way the trading of coffee works. Check it out!
Like most Day's the reality has moved quite far from the original idea, but we did love to be tagged in a plethora of posts celebrating coffee and people's love for it.
So here's us raising a cup to the humans who tend to the coffee trees that produce our most treasured beverage! We hope that through the concerted effort of industry and consumers, we can rapidly increase the quality of life of smallholder farmers and all the people that they in turn support.