By Bambi Semroc, Vice President, Sustainable Markets and Strategy for Conservation International and leader of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge
Trees get old. They
get sick. They die. And it’s up to us to replant them.
I grew up alongside two beautiful, mature and statuesque maple trees in the back yard. My parents saved those trees when they built our house. Dad said you don’t cut down old trees because it takes too long to grow another one. I watched showers of helicopter seeds fall in the spring. I raked their leaves and jumped in huge piles every fall with my brother. We mulched and planted flowers around them. Those trees are still standing, but my dad is not. I have long-since moved away and so has my brother. My mom now cares for those trees on her own. Last month she called with the sad news that she has to remove one because it is dying. I can’t imagine that tree not being there, and I wonder what tree we will plant to replace it.
Our NCA offices are located just a few blocks from Wall Street in New York City, where stockbrokers are quick to warn their clients that “past performance is no guarantee of similar results in the future.” Despite this ominous caveat, every analyst studies the historical returns of various investments in an effort to anticipate what to do next.
This is true in many areas, from weather patterns to sports. We look at the record of a team or a race horse as a measure of how strong a contender each may be. By learning that a team does better in a home stadium, or that a horse runs faster on a muddy track, we hope to get a glimpse of the future.
Last week I had a couple of speaking engagements on behalf of the NCA, addressing both the Tea Association, where we discussed opportunities to work together and market trends, and a separate event in New York.
But if you look beyond the surface, the richness of the historical coffee-drinking data reveals itself in very interesting ways. And so the NCDT and Single Serve data revealed five mega trends driving today’s coffee market, and while one or two may be obvious, taken as a group they create an interesting picture. Continue reading →