The 30-minute documentary Flower of Flowers, which tracks the impact of climate change on coffee farmers in Guatemala, will premiere at screenings in the next few weeks. Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward Guatemala relief efforts in response to the Fuego volcano eruption.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing coffee production. Researchers project that the amount of land able to grow coffee in Latin America could be reduced by 88 percent by 2050, and organizations like World Coffee Research are rallying the industry to support efforts to foster sustainable coffee production amid climate change.
This pressing topic is the focus of a new documentary from Portland, Ore.- based Stumptown Coffee Roasters called Flower of Flowers, which will debut over the next several weeks at screenings in New York City, Los Angeles, and Portland, Ore. Produced by Stumptown in partnership with Farm League, a company that creates socially conscious films, the 30-minute Flower of Flowers follows friends from different creative backgrounds to Antigua, Guatemala, to learn more about how climate continues to impact coffee-growing regions.
Featured in the film are pro skateboarders Rick McCrank and Ray Barbee, artist Lori Damiano, and Stumptown Quality Assurance Manager Jim Kelso. Flower of Flowers tracks the quartet as they engage with Guatemala coffee producers and learn about what’s happening in Central America through the lens of music, art, and skateboarding. The movie, which is directed by Greg Hunt of Farm League, documents the struggles of coffee producers in Central America due to ever-fluctuating weather patterns.
Jim of Stumptown says they chose to bring together this group because they represent the intersection between Stumptown’s culture and that of Guatemala. “Core to Stumptown’s values are creative and active pursuits like skateboarding, music, and art. Thus, we sought out our friends that are exemplars in those arenas,” says Jim. “Antigua is a unique place, with coffee, music, food, and skating all integral parts of the community. We felt that this group would best illustrate the ways Stumptown’s people and culture intersects with Antiguan people and culture.”
The movie began shooting in Antigua in February 2018. Jim says that they intended to document the reality of coffee production, and the topic of climate change rose to the surface. “Getting a chance to visit places where coffee is grown, understanding just how crazy-hard the process from bean to cup can be, coupled with absorbing all the culture from around the world, really elevates our appreciation,” Jim says. “In a sense, we wanted to make a movie about that. During the shoot, we had the opportunity to spend time with producers and learn about their practices, how they’re anticipating the next harvest, what improvements they’re making to their farms. The topic of climate change came up organically in those conversations.”
Flower of Flowers will premiere at several upcoming screenings done in partnership with food publication Saveur: New York City on June 24; Los Angeles on June 27; and Portland on July 9. All proceeds from ticket sales at the screenings will go toward Guatemala relief efforts in response to the Fuego volcano eruption, in collaboration with the Bella Vista Coffee Mill. Find more information about the screenings here.
To coincide with the movie’s premiere, Stumptown is releasing both a whole-bean and cold-brew offering of Guatemala’s Bella Vista in a collaboration between Stumptown, Farm League, and Luis Pedro Zelaya, Jr., a fourth-generation coffee producer, miller, and exporter, and a leader in the Antigua coffee community.
For every bag and can of Bella Vista sold, $1 will go toward a student scholarship at EARTH University, a nonprofit university that helps its students—who are predominantly from Latin America—become leaders bringing positive change to their home countries. “We wanted to support EARTH University because we believe in supporting origin institutions,” says Jim. “Their mission to invest in and support their students to become leaders of positive socioeconomic and environmental change very much resonated with us.”
Following the screenings in June and July, the film will be available on iTunes and Vimeo. Check out more information on Flower of Flowers here.