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Coffee Miners

Clima Now Spotlight Horizon Programme

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Switzerland consumes 8 kilograms of coffee per person every year making us among the world’s largest coffee consumers. Our government stockpiles coffee for emergency among other ‘essential to life’ list of goods such as fuel, flour and cooking oil which shows how much we love our coffee. Understandably, Switzerland is at the centre of the global coffee trade. It is the third-largest re-exporter of coffee after the European Union and the United States and more than 50% of the world’s coffee is traded here. It is also home to six of the largest commodity traders, who due to multiple intermediaries in the supply chain rarely have any contact with producers. 


Think about it, do you know where your coffee comes from? And where it goes? With no transparency in the coffee trade, traceability of the coffee source is an issue. Coffee lovers rarely know where their coffee comes from, where the coffee waste goes, its carbon footprint and hence its impact on the planet.


The Coffee Miners is an Indo-Swiss crowd-sourced new media art project which extends itself into a multisensorial experience to bring more awareness and actionability around climate friendly coffee and the whole coffee value chain. This new media artwork built with primary data collected actively from the Swiss coffee drinkers will visually map where your favourite coffee shop or brand sources their beans from along with your stories, leading to a greater sense of awareness about the source and whether the coffee is sustainably grown or not.


As an interactive phygital experience it will also teleport the audience to biodiversity rich producer coffee farms through videos, stories of farmers, forest sounds and AR/VR walkthroughs. With India being the 6th largest coffee producer (known for their shade grown coffee cultivation practices) and Switzerland being one of the largest consumers globally, this Indo-Swiss project will take form as the 1st Global Sensorial Coffee Festival. This will create multiple opportunities for knowledge exchange (screenings, panel discussions) multisensorial experiences (such as cupping and tasting workshops of forest coffee varieties from India), and prototyping of innovative products from coffee waste through Makeathons.


Through The Coffee Miners, each coffee drinker will become aware of the environmental impact of their current coffee habits and nudge them towards informed sustainable and climate friendly coffee choices helping in carbon sequestration globally.Art has the power to move us and make us think. When you experience awareness through all your senses, it moves you towards reflection and nudges you towards more responsible behaviour for people and the planet. Behaviour change is at the centre of the climate change agenda, and in a world where it can get overwhelming, The Coffee Miners will open doors for better consumption patterns and the possibilities for individual action. Together, we can work towards accelerating the SDG agenda 2030. 


The impact will be measured by the number of people who participated in the crowdsourcing of data, interaction with The Coffee Miners and the festival footfall. The shift in consumption patterns of coffee drinkers, adopting climate friendly coffee practices, demand for sustainable coffee brands or products made of coffee waste become important metrics for verifying impact. Starting in Bern, and expanding to Zurich, Geneva and Basel, this will be a travelling phygital experience that unfolds across Switzerland for coffee lovers to experience, engage, empathise and act. 


Living more sustainably is not a choice but a necessity. 


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