Coffee Corner

In our Coffee Corner, CDE staff and students will blog about the context of coffee and cocoa production and the associated value chains. Always with a focus on sustainability. Bloggers will provide insights into their scientific work, as well as answers to questions such as: What is behind coffee production? How is cocoa produced and processed? What is needed to ensure that these products are traded in an environmentally friendly, humane way? And what can we do as consumers to make these sectors sustainable? This and more will be served up in portions that can be read, seen, or listened to during a coffee break.


In the heart of empty Spain: The uncertain future of olive oil. Léa Lamotte on sparsely populated landscapes that produce olive oil for a large part of the world market. April 2023 (In English via link or Spanish in the PDF below)

Amazonia: The bittersweet taste of chocolate. Léa Lamotte on the “Western lifestyle” – in a place where people are looking for alternatives to rainforest destruction. January 2023 (In English via link or Spanish in the PDF below)

Commodity supplier? No, coffee entrepreneur! Samuel Brülisauer on the new generation of coffee producers in Peru. October 2022 (In German via the link or in Spanish in the PDF below)

Making a living from coffee: Owning a small farm A FATE video on coffee production in Laos (Part 1), November 2018
Making a living from coffee: Working for other farmers A FATE video on coffee production in Laos (Part 2), November 2018
Making a living from coffee: Working for a company A FATE video on coffee production in Laos (Part 3), November 2018
Making a living from coffee: Being part of a cooperative A FATE video on coffee production in Laos (Part 4), November 2018


Not all beginnings are difficult – but we are still building up this space. More faces and stories will appear here soon.

Léa Lamotte

Léa Lamotte is a PhD student at CDE, working in the project "Deliberative diets – scenarios for a sustainable food system". Her research takes her to Ecuador and Spain, where she investigates how co-creating knowledges about chocolate and olive oil with the consumers can modify their purchasing and eating behaviors, even in their kitchens. In her Blog posts, which she dedicates to the persons she writes about, she brings us along on the journey and reflects on the realities she meets.

More about the Deliberative diets project

Samuel Brülisauer

Samuel Brülisauer is a doctoral student at CDE, a coffee lover, and works in the COMPASS project studying cocoa and coffee value chains in Peru and Switzerland. He spent the first half of 2022 doing research in Peru. His Coffee Corner blog posts focuses on Peru’s coffee sector.

More about the COMPASS project

The FATE-Team

The FATE research project has produced four impressive short videos on the labour conditions and lives of coffee farmers in Laos that shouldn’t be missed from our blog about coffee and sustainability. They reveal the reality behind the claim that high-quality crops can boost rural development in the global South. Does the shift from self-sufficiency to wage labour improve the well-being of household members? Or does it increase the risk of farm families falling into new dependencies? The FATE project ended in 2022.

More about the FATE project