The wake-up of the WakecUpCall: many ambassadors and keeping an eye on the Wake Cups

It’s started. Or actually the KOP, yes, of our WAKEcUPCALL initiative. On 17 May at 7 o’clock in the morning, comedian Guido Weijers was the first to make his cup of coffee online. You probably know Guido from his New Year’s conferences and from his performances in Ziggo Dome, where he tells jokes on a never-relaxing TGV voyage. But Guido is also very busy with sustainability. He recently had coffee with Minister Wiebes to ask him how he could positively combine the climate and economy. Guido hoped that the cup of coffee at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate would at least be fair-trade—but if that’s not for certain in a ministry, then it’s time for a #WAKEcUPCALL.

Famous singer
You’ve already seen the WAKEcUPCALL movie, where unsuspecting coffee drinkers are startled from their quiet coffee moment. No, that wasn’t an act, not even by that one famous singer (I once stood in the front row of one of his concerts at Paradiso) in one of the last shots. He was just making a detour through Oosterpark when he was lured in by someone from our film crew calling out ‘help us out’. “Coffee?”

Maybe you heard our director Sander de Jong in the studio at BNR Zaken Doen. Or, appropriately, seen at Coffee time. Insiders will probably have recognized Good Beans, the nicest coffee shop in the Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam. They are also one of the ambassadors of this initiative.

Ambassadors, ambassadors, ambassadors
I want to talk about those ambassadors. Without you, the WAKEcUPCALL initiative would be no more than just a few Fairfoodies who are building a website together. Not to put it down, because it is a very nice website. An army of KOPlopers has formed on this website last week. And that army is still growing. Because in addition to Guido, we now have many more ambassadors: the coffee bars, baristas, coffee roasters and coffee brands; and they all take very different approaches. We strongly believe in inspiring examples. You can read more about this on our ambassador page.

Yet the most important ambassadors are perhaps the people who ‘just’ drink coffee. Who don’t know what a ‘cupping’ or ‘Q-grade’ is, but drink coffee every day when studying, at work, or with friends. You too have already demonstrated over the past week that you prefer to drink really good coffee (with special thanks to Growthinkers, who spontaneously woke up and mobilized their entire network). Journalist Pauline Bijster wrote about the WAKEcUPCALL in a blog post for Happinez, where she wondered if a hashtag on an Instagram post was really the best way to pursue this issue. She asked “Is that really worthy of a farmer?” A legitimate question, but at Fairfood we believe that this is the best way to shake up the coffee world. Too often we hear as an excuse ‘We want to, but the consumer doesn’t ask about it.’ So, the more people who express themselves through social media, the more coffee companies will feel motivated to do something. You can also send an e-mail to your favorite coffee brand. Although Pauline Bijster still seems to be waiting for an answer from Lavazza.

Also, the firemen seem to have run off to fight a fire with cups in hand.

And then just about the CUP itself. We have sent 50 WAKEcUPS to the main coffee players—supermarkets, roasters, coffee bar chains—inviting ourselves for a cup of coffee. Steps are being taken, but how can this work even better and faster?

The cup logo on the website is actually hand-painted by Ruben Steeman (Buro Rust), the spiritual father of the WAKEcUP. It would be too much work to hand-paint each cup, so we had them printed instead. We have also ordered the cups rather sparingly because I have a phobia of waste (horror scenario: in 12 years our successors find 300 dusty, forgotten cups hidden away somewhere in a cabinet). But what is wrong with those WAKEcUPs? They tend to end up everywhere. For example, one has been spotted behind the Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam. Who knows, it could now be on a cruise ship to Panama or Miami. One was on its way to BNR, but is now untraceable. Also, the firemen seem to have run off to fight a fire with cups in hand. So, have you come across a WAKEcUP in the wild? Grab it and take a picture using the hashtag #WAKEcUPCALL and then we will personally come pick it up.

P.S. You can always order a WAKEcUP to share online, if you promise to pay attention to it. Simply send an email to: [email protected]

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