Outreach

For my work to have the greatest possible impact, I regularly engage in outreach activities via media and stakeholder engagement. Here’s an overview of recent events and features. If you are a member of the media or an industry group and would like to chat about my work, please contact me!

Invited talks and panel participation – academic

10.12.2020: I was a discussant at the GLOBE Webinar about Stefan Rencken’s new book “Private Governance and Public Authority”. The recording is available here.


08.12.2020: I presented my work in progress on the effectiveness of zero deforestation commitments in the palm oil sector at the Global Land Programme’s Telecoupling Working Group webinar series. See the webinar recording below and find relevant slides here. Together with my colleague Samuel Levy we summarized our insights in this blog post.


17.09.2020: I was a panelist for the Closing Plenary of the 2020 Virtual Forum of the Earth System Governance network. The Closing Plenary discussed the question ‘what are the implications of multiple forms of disruption for ongoing efforts toward realizing sustainability and justice?’. A recording of the discussion is available here.


28.04.2020: With my colleague Sam Levy, I was a panelist at the ICLR 2020 Workshop Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning during the Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use Day. We participated in the presentation session “Machine Learning and Forests: Deforestation, Afforestation, and Forest Management” and the panel “Machine Learning and Forests” and spoke about how machine learning tools can help inform our understanding of private sector forest policies. The embedded links lead to video recordings of both sessions.


Invited talks and panel participation – non-academic

30.03.2021: I presented insights from my book to staff of Fairtrade International as part of its Global Impact Webinar Series. Fairtrade International is one of the oldest and most established certification schemes in the coffee sector.


24.02.2021: I presented insights from my book to Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE)’s R&D department as part of its Technical Talks. JDE is the second-largest coffee roasting company in the world, controlling an estimated 16% of the global market.


13.11.2020: I presented my book at the 2020 Sintercafé (Semana Internacional del Café) Virtual Edition. Sintercafé is one of the largest coffee industry events hosted in a producing country, annually attracting more than 500 participants from the largest coffee companies in the world. A recording of my presentation “Have we sold sustainability short? Past advances and next steps in the coffee sector’s sustainability journey” can be found below.


26.08.2020: I presented insights from my book “Selling Sustainability Short?” to the German Coffee Association (Deutscher Kaffeeverband) in their event “Nachhaltigkeits-News im Kaffee in 7 Speed Speeches”, which had over 80 participants from the German coffee sector. My slides can be found here.


30.07.2020: On behalf of ETH Zurich’s Environmental Policy Lab, I took part in the Tropical Forest Alliance Soy Dialogue on “Payments for Environmental Services: a Game-Changer for Brazil and Beyond?”, providing evidence from research about the effectiveness and equity of Payments for Environmental Services. Our main points and relevant literature can be found here.


21.07.2020: I participated as a panelist in the ISEAL Alliance’s webinar “Why system credibility matters for impacts: how the Credibility Principles can support effectiveness and impacts“, where I discussed this topic alongside Graeme Auld, Philip Schleifer and Hamish van der Ven. The recording is accessible at the link above.


18.02.2020: I was an expert panelist at the UNCTAD-ICO workshop “Fostering sustainable development in coffee-exporting countries” at the United Nations in Geneva. My presentation focused on climate change effects and adaptation strategies in coffee, and highlighted shade coffee and agroforestry as a solution that should be fostered, including by value addition strategies. My presentation can be downloaded here: ICO-UNCTAD presentation Janina Grabs.


11.07.2019: I took part in an expert panel during the event “Sustainability – A Transatlantic Conversation”, organized by the California Wine Institute and Harpers Magazine. Our conversation is summarized in the piece “Wine can drive sustainability agenda, but thinking needs ‘generational change’“.


10.04.2019: I was a speaker at the 2019 RE:CO Symposium to speak about the macroeconomic dysfunction in the coffee market. The Specialty Coffee Association’s Re:Co [Regarding:Coffee] Symposium is a “gathering of the greatest minds and most influential thinkers in the coffee industry,” convened to “look at the specialty coffee market, the challenges we face and some of the solutions we have, and also shine a light on opportunities for growth and development and delve into how these can be approached.” I highlighted the prospects and limits of using differentiation strategies such as sustainability certifications and quality improvements to address the structural problems (including structural oversupply and low prices) of the sector. My presentation was later described as a “key highlight to set the stage” by Sprudge’s “Very Best of the Re:Co Symposium” summary. Find the slides for the presentation here (including all relevant sources!) and my script here!

You can listen to the podcast here and see the presentation recording below.


25.09.2018: I was a panelist in the second Sustainability webinar of the Specialty Coffee Association. The webinar focused on the 2018 price crisis and the reaction of the industry, as well as broader reflections on price volatility and commodity markets. You can find the recording here.


On the radio and podcasts

10.05.2021: The Eklipse network prepared a podcast series to summarize the policy recommendations made by its experts. My colleague Lisa Bieber-Freudenberger and I were interviewed on businesses’ contribution to biodiversity.


09.10.2020: My collaborator Sophia Carodenuto and I presented our emerging research agenda on traders as sustainability governance actors on the Innovation Forum podcast and discussed how commodity trader companies are influencing and helping deliver brand supply chain commitments. The recording can be found here.


30.07.2020: I presented my book “Selling Sustainability Short?” on the Evidensia podcast in a 20-minute conversation with Vidya Rangan, Senior Manager, Impacts and Evidence, ISEAL Alliance. Listen to it at this link.


10.03.2019: I was interviewed for and featured on a Filter Stories podcast episode (the “Sofia” episode) on the struggles of Nicaraguan coffee farm workers to provide a promising future for their children, and the broad market linkages that link coffee consumers to the fates of those that produce their coffee beans.


Written media

14.04.2021: Together with Elizabeth Bennett, I contributed a feature article to Issue 14 of the Specialty Coffee Association’s 25 Magazine in which we summarize our research on profit-sharing business models, which are a novel way of value distribution in the coffee sector.


29.03.2021: I provided expert comments on a recent paper that estimated national import-driven deforestation footprints via the Science Media Center Germany and was featured in the Berliner Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, as well as Heise Online.


18.03.2021: With my colleagues, I provided some insights from recent fieldwork in this Food Systems Stories blog post that is hosted by ETH Zurich’s World Food System Centre, which also generously supported our work.


01.03.2021: Sophia Carodenuto and my research project on the role of traders in sustainability governance was featured in this article in Canada’s National Observer.


16.10.2020: I contributed a blog post titled “How effective is private regulation in incentivizing more sustainable production practices in the coffee sector?” to the Evidensia website.


29.05.2020: The launch of my book “Selling Sustainability Short?” was the focus of a Q&A on the Daily Coffee News website.


13.05.2020: My dissertation work was featured in the alumni magazine of my alma mater, the University of Münster, under the title “Kaffeeproduktion braucht klare Regeln [Coffee production needs clear rules]” (in German).


11.10.2019: I contributed a summary of my book “Selling Sustainability Short?” to the Coffee & Cocoa International Magazine. The piece, “Coffee certifications: Selling sustainability short?“, can be found online and in the November 2019 print version of C&CI.


07.06.2019: I was interviewed for the piece “Crisis forces Colombia’s coffee farmers fight for a living wage“, published by Fresh Cup Magazine, which chronicles smallholder producers’ efforts to keep afloat during the coffee price crisis.


08.01.2019: As a follow-up to the Specialty Coffee Association’s Sustainability webinar, I wrote an extensive Q&A to answer questions viewers had about the macro-economic sustainability of the coffee market and farm profitability. It was featured on the SCA website.


14.12.2018: I contributed a feature article for Issue 7 of the Specialty Coffee Association’s 25 Magazine that examines the coffee price crisis, the role of price discovery through futures markets, speculation, and price volatility. It was translated into Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, and Russian.


12.11.2018: My research on the rebound effects of switching to vegetarianism was featured in this BBC article called ‘Swapping t-bone for tofu’. I was also featured in the article and argued for the need to look at full lifestyle changes for sustainability, including but not limited to one’s food choices.


20.06.2018: The TRANSSUSTAIN’s index for voluntary coffee sustainability schemes was the focus of this article by the Daily Coffee News.