One of the prime drivers of my passion for what we do outside of my love and commitment to our source and our coffee is food marketing, packaging and messaging. In one grocery trip you may find me laughing, crying or venting in various aisles of the store over marketing. I celebrate when I identify a brand that’s true in their messaging but to often I’m gobsmacked on where we’ve gotten with half truths, watered down certifiers and distractive tactics.
And the coffee business being so close to me as a grower, importer, roaster and distributor is a lightening rod as it is ripe in BS and watered down narratives.
My husband, our roaster and I had the funniest full circle example of this. Our sales manager shared this new local Okanagan coffee with me and I’d never heard of it. So I started digging and although it’s marketing made you believe it was local to the Okanagan it was actually roasted in the lower mainland. And from there it just grew. The company also has a locally roasted Vancouver Island brand that is also roasted in the lower mainland. It was our funny dinner discussion as we know the group and we moved on until my Dad sent me an email sharing a coffee collectives video on how they showcased local roasters and promote. I was super curious and excited cause that would be an amazing addition to our coffee world. But no! It was the same company that was claiming locally roasted status in various marketplaces and then showcasing them under this banner of bringing craft roasters together. I took so much delight in sharing with my Dad he had been scammed.
But this sort of tactic hurts our industry by way of making consumers distrustful and potentially giving fuel to dishonest messaging. It also distracts from the need for fairer wages and better standards for our greater source communities.
Personally I live by a code and it’s wrapped in principle and how I feel you win. When you play a game and win by cheating; It doesn’t make you a winner. And that’s a fundamental thing for me in that winning is doing it your very best and fairly. But that principled approach for me is drowning in the cacophony of BS marketing in coffee.
I have learnt that it’s never how you react, but how you respond. And I’ve come to a place that it’s never going to change until we educate consumers to be in the know. And that’s going to be my ongoing response, educate, educate, educate.
Frog on !