This book is the story of a journey – the voyage of the humble coffee bean through time, space and form.
Your journey begins with dancing goats in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. It quickly moves on to religious conflict in the port of Mocca, which at one time was the world’s only source of coffee. Western countries soon enter the scene, spreading precious coffee plants throughout their colonies, first to Java and Ceylon, then to the Caribbean, Africa and Central America. It is a tale of romance and intrigue, but one with an underbelly of suffering and exploitation whose dark history still shapes the world today.
The second stage of your journey begins in the coffee plantations and ends in your local coffee shop. On the way, the author will introduce you to the people – the growers, millers, merchants, roasters, and brand owners – who make this miraculous journey possible. They will share with you their love of the world’s favourite drink. They will explain how our little bean changes in form from bright red coffee cherries to light green beans to dark brown, aromatic roasted coffee. They will also tell you how they are changing the business of coffee for the better. It is a fascinating story.
If you are already in the coffee business, this book will widen your knowledge. If you are looking to learn more about the coffee business, this book will be your ‘go-to’ source. And if you just enjoy coffee, this book will add a new dimension to your daily ‘cuppa’.
Crop to Cup – Conversations over Coffee is available on Amazon as a paperback or an e-book
In 1979, Dan Morgan, a journalist with the Washington Post, wrote Merchants of Grain, a definitive history of the international grain trade. In the 40 years since Dan’s book was published the grain markets have changed almost beyond recognition. So too have the merchants of grain. Once shadowy figures, grain merchants have now come out of the shadows.
Almost everything that you eat or drink today will contain something bought, stored, transported, processed, shipped, distributed or sold by one of the seven giants of the agricultural supply chain. The media often refers to them as the ABCD group of international grain-trading companies, with ABCD standing for ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Dreyfus. The acronym, though, ignores the other three giants of the food supply: Glencore, COFCO International and Wilmar. Together, they handle 50 per cent of the international trade in grain and oilseeds.
In this book’s series of exclusive and unprecedented interviews, CEOs and senior traders from these seven giants describe in their own words how the agricultural markets are changing, and how they are adapting to those changes.
This is the inside story of the grain market and of the seven companies at the centre of the world’s food supply.
Out of the Shadows – The New Merchants of Grain is available on Amazon
The world will need to produce as much food in the next forty years as it did in the past 8,000 years. Moving that food to where it is needed will require a massive investment in logistics, in port and transport infrastructure, as well as in distribution, processing and packaging networks within countries. Governments will not make those investments. Instead, the task will fall on the world’s commodity trading (merchandising) companies.
When most people think of agricultural commodity merchants, they imagine dubious characters manipulating markets and pushing up food prices. Few people understand what agricultural traders actually do, and how their markets function. This book is intended to at least partly correct that.
Commodity Conversations is available on Amazon
In this far-reaching and wide-ranging book, Jonathan dispels many myths, both about sugar and about how commodity markets work. He looks carefully at human rights, environmental sustainability, speculation, food prices, commodity trading, market manipulation, government intervention and health. He provides some surprising conclusions. Anyone who is interested in how their food is produced and how it arrives on their plate, or into their cereal bowl will enjoy this book.
With contributions from, or interviews with: • Isara Vongkusolkit, Sunny Verghese, Robert Kuok, Chris Mahoney, Greg Page, Ralph Potter, and Sven Sielhorst.
The Sugar Casino is available in Kindle or Paperback versions on Amazon