This soundwork has been selected via the Süden Radio #2 - Call for soundworks.

Dirty Coffee tracks the environmental impact of coffee farming on village communities living in the highlands of Ethiopia. It combines on location field recordings with the farmers themselves, alongside the European coffee roasters who sell the final product. Differing views are contrasted – from NGO charities who work alongside major international coffee companies, such as Starbucks, to the farmer advocates and suppliers who witness the deprivation and ecological damage caused by the West’s insatiable thirst for coffee.

Original music, recorded especially for this project, by Ethiopian band Krar Collective is featured throughout the production.

The feature was produced as part of a University research project and follows the journalistic principles of impartiality by providing listeners with a range of perspectives, allowing them to draw their own conclusions. On location recordings transport the audience to isolated highland villages in the Yirgacheffe region – where the views of the coffee farmers were given a voice through translation. The production style is fast moving and uses original, traditional Ethiopian music to add atmosphere and authenticity.

Sam Coley is Degree Leader and Associate Professor of Radio Production at Birmingham City University. He currently teaches documentary production, commercial production and digital audio editing on undergraduate and postgraduate radio courses. He has worked as a radio trainer for the BBC World Service Trust and carried out research into the use of radio as an educational tool in developing countries. Sam has worked extensively in both commercial and public service broadcasting and continues to produce freelance radio documentaries. In 2012 his Xfm series ‘25’ won the gold award for 'best music special' in the New York Radio Festival and more recently he has produced documentaries on Led Zeppelin and David Bowie for the UK’s Absolute Radio network.

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