Chris Kjeldsen

Coordinating quality practices in Direct Trade coffee

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • Emil Holland, Danmark
  • Chris Kjeldsen
  • Søren Kerndrup, Institut for Planlægning, Det Teknisk-Naturvidenskabelige Fakultet, Forskningsgruppen for Bæredygtighed, innovation og politik, Center for Design, Innovation og Bæredygtig Omstilling, Danmark
Over the past few decades, many food niches have emerged with a specific focus on quality. In specialty coffee, micro roasters have brought about Direct Trade coffee as a way of organising an alternative around new tastes and qualities through ongoing and ‘direct’ relations to farmers and cooperatives. But Direct Trade also involves exporters. We ask, how do exporters and roasters work together in these new coffee relations, and what do they work on? We observe and participate in a situation where Colombian coffee exporters visit Danish roasters. They tour the roasting facilities and taste a number of coffees. Often, the term power is used to analyse such value chain interactions, but we argue that the term coordination better opens up these interactions for exploration and analysis. What emerges is a coordination of quality. Through touring and tasting, issues emerge and differences are laid out. We learn that quality is a continuous achievement. There is friction between the ways in which the roasters and exporters do quality, but these are not done away with through power. They are made known and discussable through the work of coordination. The activity of tasting quality is a coordination device that allows for bringing out differences in how quality is done in practice. Coffee, in this event, is not a fixed object, but shifts as issues of quality are brought up in tasting. This suggests a decentering of the object on the issue of quality.
TidsskriftJournal of Cultural Economy
Sider (fra-til)186-196
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2016

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