Comfort Food #12: Five Elephant – How the crisis might shape the future of coffee
“Coffee, the way we do it – produced by agriculture which is just, environmentally sensitive, and sympathetic with global warming – is not cheap.”
Kris Schackman – Five Elephant, 27.04.20
Kris Schackman is co-owner and -founder of Five Elephant, a specialty coffee roastery, bakery and cafe in Berlin. Passionate about quality, their goal is to source the best coffees in the world in a way that is mindful of our environmental impact and thoughtful of the social impact on the communities who produce them. We are big fans of Five Elephant, because they share many of our values and mutual support has a high priority for them. We were very fortunate to have them as partners for Das Symposium 2019.
“Coffee will become a very different thing in the next 10 years” says Kris Schackman. In our twelfth #comfortfoodtalk, we spoke to him about how the current situation affects coffee farmers, his roastery and the Cafe business. We also touched on the history of Five Elephant and the direct trade movement, and the relationships they’ve built over time.
Coffee pricing is influenced by large volume traders and commodity brokers, resulting in unreliable prices and raw materials sold under the value of production costs. In other words, it’s a system that is prone to crisis. “One of the biggest things we can do right now is to think about how we can be more independent from this. We are going to have a lot more challenges, global warming is happening, the temperature is rising. We are thinking constantly about how the future is going to be, and [about how] we can adapt. And it’s not going to be trough banks. [It’s going to be] people working directly, in a holistic approach.”
The conversation was moderated by our director Friederike Gaedke.