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Photo: Eric Lafforgue/Art in All of Us/Corbis/Getty
By one measure, coffee has rarely had a better day — it is the beverage fashion of choice, conferring class, cachet and cool on its drinkers almost regardless of their age or station, leading to chronic lines out the door of cafes.
What's happening: For decades, coffee growers, serving among the most internationally dispersed clientele in food, have weathered topsy-turvy prices, the result of chronic over-growing, mostly by Brazil. In 1962, the growers, inspired by the creation of OPEC by oil producers two years earlier, decided to do something about their misery. They started what they called the International Coffee Agreement, a cartel through which they would attempt to control production, and thus prices.
What they're saying: "The tragedy is that even though we are paying $5 for Starbucks, this is not trickling down to the producer. If a more equitable mode of production doesn't emerge, I don't know what the future of coffee is," Carmen Kordick, a professor at Southern Connecticut State University and the author of "The Saints of Progress," tells Axios.
What's next: In May the price of beans plunged to 87 cents a pound, far below the approximately $1.20 price of production, though it has since risen to $1.06. Weighing on the price continues to be oversupply, particularly from Brazil and Vietnam, the biggest producers.
Morris advocates a simple solution: People in places that are not currently quaffing down coffee, like Americans for instance, need to start — especially in countries that are primary bean growers. He singles out China, India, Vietnam, and much of Africa.
Illustration: Aïda Amer
As we've been following, several American staples — mayonnaise, American cheese, breakfast cereal — are dying slow deaths, and millennials are shouldering much of the blame.
What's happening: From Campbell's to Clairol and CoverGirl, some of America's most famous supermarket and drug store brands are losing market share, reports Axios' Courtenay Brown.
What to watch: As older companies scramble to keep up with upstart competitors, they are introducing more modern product lines, like ones with plant-based ingredients.
Photo: Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty
We wrote yesterday about several startups developing a new high-tech defense against deepfakes — verifying photos and videos the moment they're captured.
Today, Roy Azoulay, the founder of Serelay, published a detailed response at Medium.
Here's an excerpt:
"In absence of a universal standard for verification, we tend to apply a ‘reputation filter’ — we trust media based on the individual or organization that captured or published it. This means we are often inherently biased towards trusting people that look like us or share our political or ideological beliefs. With all the challenges relating to verify-at-capture, I think at the end of the day it is our best chance of proving a better leveled playing field and it is important we maintain an open and transparent discussion while doing so."
Photo: Friso Gentsch/dpa/Getty
Exhausting week? No worries — here's the best of Future since Monday.
1. Conforming truckers: A drastic shift for an individualistic industry
2. Race for AI rules: Jostling for the future of a transformative technology
3. SCOTUS-fueled anger: The court has stirred up populism
4. The deepfake authenticators: Figuring out what's real
Japan's post office as a bonds powerhouse (Chris Anstey - Bloomberg)
Immigrants are moving to smaller cities (Kim Hart - Axios)
Big brands are starting to sponsor women's soccer (The Economist)
What's with the Elektorornis' toe? (Becky Ferreira - NYT)
Actually, bystanders ready to help (Richard Florida - Citylab)
A Florida mall from the era. Photo: Independent Picture Service/Universal /Getty
We've written about companies that are making the most of dead malls, turning them into housing, restaurants, doctors' offices, and even a college campus.
In Georgia, one down-and-out complex was completely revitalized and restored to its '80s-era grandeur for the third season of Stranger Things, the popular Netflix TV show, Kaveh writes.
"You’d be shocked at the number of malls, particularly derelict malls, in the [Atlanta] area," the series' production designer, Chris Trujillo, told the LA Times.