Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Coffee Grind

Coffee energizes and satisfies millions of people every day. Some drink coffee every morning and some don’t drink it all. Some like plain, black coffee and some like Double Chocolaty Chip Créme Frappuccinos. Regardless of preference, for Americans and many other first world inhabitants, coffee comes at a small price, but for its producers, coffee is a matter of black and white. 
Currently in Venice, in partnership with Expo Milano 2015, there resides a temporary photography exhibit which captures the true essence of coffee. Sebastião Salgado’s Scent of a Dream documents coffee’s production process and the workers that participate in it. This exhibit’s unique black and white photographs effectively depict the daily grind faced by coffee workers. Inspiration stemmed from his childhood when he helped his father in the coffee business and later when he worked with the International Coffee Organization. Salgado’s goal in his 13-year long project coincides with Expo 2015’s mission to inspire the world to unite to feed the planet and increase the availability of resources for everyone. Unlike many global food networks, the coffee trade largely advocates “Fair Trade.” Fair Trade ensures that coffee growers receive a minimum price for their goods in an effort to help them rise out of poverty. Producing coffee is not the easiest or most glamourous job, but thanks to efforts of past Expo’s and visionaries like Salgado, the coffee industry leads the way in making the global food market beneficial to both consumers and producers.

-Nathan Monger

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