Peter Cooper is a 25 year old Canadian student studying his master's thesis in environmental science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. His research focuses on aspects of ethical consumption, through socio-economic and environmental means, in high-grade "specialty coffee." Specifically, he is conducting a choice experiment to elicit preferences and WTP for different modes of ethical consumerism which are emerging in the specialty coffee industry.
Peter has a background in chemistry, but a longstanding passion for environmental and social justice led him to an Erasmus Mundus joint master degree in environmental studies. An intense interest in the growing world of specialty coffee revealed an international industry suffering from complex issues that he was eager to apply his academic interest toward. Through the work he is aiming to contribute to clarifying the link between discourses on ethical consumerism which are based in consuming countries and tangible benefits in producing countries. He hopes that enhanced transparency and consumer awareness of the complexities of the coffee trade will lead to an industry that more effectively bridges the geographical, socio-economic, and cultural divides that separate consumers and producers. As production and supply of specialty coffee faces an increasing number of challenges, he believes that we can develop effective policies that ensure we can continue to discover and enjoy exceptional-quality coffees that compensate farmers fairly and with the recognition they merit.