Future of the Environment

This start-up is making a palm oil alternative from used coffee grounds

Dan Streetman, vice president of wholesale and coffee buyer for Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, holds a handful of La Bendicion coffee beans from Nicaragua at Irving Farm in the Manhattan borough of New York September 23, 2014. For the first time in three years, Streetman is buying coffee beans in bulk from Colombia, exploiting low comparative prices and reflecting new flexibility by U.S. roasters who had become over reliant on a single country for premium arabica. Streetman, the buyer for New York City-based specialty roaster and retailer Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, stopped ordering from the South American country in 2011 as disease devastated crops, supplies became erratic and prices soared. Instead he bought more from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Now, leaf rust fungus, known as roya, is threatening Central America's crops, lifting the cost for many of those grades above Colombia's for the first time in more than eight years, according to Reuters data on physical coffee prices, which are expressed as differentials above or below New York futures. To match story USA-COFFEE/ROASTERS     Picture taken September 23, 2014.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS AGRICULTURE COMMODITIES) - GF2EA9N1JLO01

Brew the future. Image: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Douglas Broom
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Future of the EnvironmentClimate ChangeSustainable Development
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