BBC 6 Minute English | THE STORY BEHIND COFFEE | English CC | Daily List...

source: Daily Listening    2016年10月12日

0:06 In this programme we're going to be talking about coffee.
0:10 Coffee?
0:11 I've actually got one here in front of me, Rob.
0:15 What kind of coffee are you drinking?
0:17 It's a skinny latte.
0:19 And what's that that you've got?
0:22 I've gone for a flat white today.
0:24 (Sound of sipping) Mmm.
0:25 That tastes good.
0:26 Looks good too!
0:28 The market for the world's most popular drink has come a long way since the days of instant
0:33 coffee, when we just added boiling water to some brown powder.
0:37 Yes, that's very true, Neil.
0:39 After that came the giants like Starbucks and Costa Coffee who made coffee drinking
0:44 trendy and a lifestyle statement.
0:48 People are far more aware of what they're drinking these days.
0:50 But Rob, I don't think we should forget what lies behind the coffee we enjoy every day.
0:57 It's a hugely complicated business.
0:59 Yes, it's the second biggest commodity in the world, after oil.
1:03 That means the price of coffee is changing every day, every hour even, as traders speculate
1:09 about the price.
1:11 It means farmers in countries like Ethiopia, Costa Rica and Brazil are dependent on the
1:17 deals that are made in commodity markets thousands of miles from their farms.
1:22 It makes them extremely vulnerable.
1:25 Let's listen to food journalist Sheila Dillon as she explains the impact of coffee markets
1:31 on local growers.
1:33 She uses an expression that means "has a big effect".
1:37 Can you tell me what it is?
1:38 What happens in the coffee markets makes waves around the globe.
1:42 Entire national economies depend on the price of coffee.
1:46 It's the key to whether individual farmers canprovide for their families, face unemployment
1:52 and ultimately whether whole communities stay on the land or trek to the cities.
1:57 She said "makes waves".
2:00 This means "have a big effect".
2:02 She also used the expression "provide for" their families.
2:06 This means the farmer's family have enough income to live comfortably.
2:10 Good.
2:11 Right.
2:12 So what about our quiz question today?
2:14 Neil do you know many cups of coffee are drunk worldwide each year?
2:19 Is it: a) 38 billion
2:20 b) 400 billion c) 950 billion
2:25 Well, it's going to be a huge number, of course.
2:29 But I still think I'll go for the lowest figure, which is 38 billion.
2:34 Well, we'll see if you got the right answer at the end of the programme.
2:38 Now, the price of coffee has soared – that means gone up quickly – in recent years,
2:44 Rob.
2:45 Surely that's good for everyone involved in the business?
2:47 I believe the profit margins for coffee are among the highest in the world.
2:52 I can't see what all the fuss is about.
2:54 Well, Neil, just because the price is high, it doesn't mean that everyone benefits.
3:00 It all depends on how the profits are distributed.
3:04 You see there are countless transactions between the grower and the drinker.
3:07 A grower can have a really good crop, but the amount he makes stays the same – or
3:12 can even fall.
3:13 Mmm, I see the problem.
3:15 I expect most of the profits go to the commodity traders and very little to the individual
3:20 growers of the bean.
3:23 It sounds like the growers have no control.
3:25 That's what happens in other agricultural sectors.
3:28 I'm afraid so.
3:29 Of course, some people are trying to distribute the profits more widely and they have been
3:33 having some success.
3:35 Yes, I heard about some small-scale projects where the company takes charge of the whole
3:40 process from field to shop.
3:42 Yes, these organisations tend to farm organically.
3:46 This is very labour intensive – that means a lot of people are employed – and it creates
3:51 a lot of jobs for people within the local community.
3:55 In this way they are not victims of market fluctuations.
3:59 Let's listen to Leo Virmani, who runs a small plantation like this in Costa Rica.
4:04 What's the verb he uses for putting the coffee in a box before selling it?
4:09 For our plantation, the approach we have is to go through every step of the way - every
4:15 step of the process - so that we grow it, we pick it, and we process it in the mill.
4:21 Then eventually we'll roast it, we'll package it, and we'll sell it as the small plantation
4:26 we are.
4:27 And that would allow us to stay or be profitable at the end of the day.
4:32 So, he used the verb "package", which means "put a product in a packet or box before selling"
4:38 it.
4:39 And he said his community can stay "profitable" – this means they can always maintain profits
4:45 – or make money.
4:46 Well, it's good to know that small growers can live reasonably comfortably despite what
4:51 the world markets are doing.
4:53 The next time I grab a takeaway coffee I'll try to remember all the politics involved
4:58 in the production process.
4:59 Yes, me too.
5:01 So, shall we have the answer to the quiz question now?
5:04 Yes.
5:05 You asked me how many cups of coffee are drunk worldwide each year – 38 billion, 400 billion
5:12 or 950 billion.
5:13 And I guessed 38 billion.
5:17 I'm afraid you're wrong – the answer is actually 400 billion.
5:21 No way.That's incredible.
5:23 Yes, it's an extraordinary statistic.
5:25 Well, we're almost out of time.
5:27 So, let's remind ourselves of some of the words we've said today, Neil.
5:32 commodity speculate
5:35 fluctuations vulnerable
5:40 make waves provides for
5:45 labour intensive package
5:50 profitable. Well, that's it for today.