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.
popularity of coffee is still growing, but the definition of what makes
a ‘good’ cup of coffee is complex.
It might be tempting to think that it is largely subjective, with so many types of coffee grown around the world, so many processes to consider throughout the value chain, and so many local and national preferences.
However, the sustainability of the industry depends on the value placed on certain types of coffee. Local economies can thrive or fail, depending on the desirability of their crop.
growing preference for ‘specialty’ coffee, sold at a premium price, is making the
quality question even more critical. The ability to distinguish specific characteristics
that make some crops more desirable than standard commercial coffee has become
a major consideration over the last 20 years.
Physical characteristics of the bean or cherry are not good indicators of flavor in the cup, so how is this important choice to be made?
While we expect sustainable-minded shoppers to spend up to $150 billion on sustainable products by 2021, sustainability is starting to drive gains in everything from resource management to product packaging.
Here’s a glimpse into the myriad ways in which companies are embracing sustainability (and outperforming) along the way.
By Loreal Crumbley, for the EPA’s Environmental Education Division
Many of you may be looking for effective green tips. One tip I can offer you is to recycle used coffee grounds.
Coffee mixed with soil can be used as a natural fertilizer. Used coffee grounds provide gardens with an abundant source of nutrition. Recycling coffee grounds is not only beneficial for gardeners but it helps in reducing the amount of waste going into landfills.
Inside the community-driven mission of The Coffee Trust, NCA 2019 Origin Charity of the Year
The National Coffee Association recognized The Coffee Trust as the recipient of the 2019 NCA Origin Charity of the Year Award, sponsored by Mother Parker’s Tea & Coffee, during the NCA 2019 Annual Convention in Atlanta.
Two Award finalists – meriting special mention – were Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc. and Strategies for International Development.
Here, Bill Fishbein, The Coffee Trust Founder and Executive Director, explains from the field what makes this organization so special – and how they are happily working themselves our of jobs in communities at origin.
Leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs from across the coffee industry came together for the 2019 NCA Annual Convention in the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The 3-day event was themed “Coffee at the Crossroads” and sponsored by Community Coffee, which is currently celebrating its centennial anniversary as a family-owned company.
From networking events to specialty coffee education, the jam-packed (and highly caffeinated) conference offered something for everyone.
Here, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite moments, with more to come in the weeks ahead.
(If you attended #NCA19 and want to share what you’ve learned, share a comment below or tag @nationalcoffeeusa in your photos!)
Peaking at $5.7 billion in sales in 2016, demand for single-serve capsules has leveled off after capturing a significant portion of the US coffee market, according to Euromonitor market research reported by STiR Magazine.
Experts say that the industry will need to undergo some major changes in order to recapture some of the old excitement and increase growth rates in the category.
What lessons can be learned from the mature pod markets of Western Europe that could be applied to the category in North America?
Euromonitor‘s Matthew Barry will lead an in-depth educational session discussing the coffee pods market in North America, including the effect of private labels and off-brand pods as well as environmental sustainability.
The coffee sector looks up to the wine sector for several reasons – including the wine sector’s long and prestigious history, the sensory descriptions, the sophisticated branding with use of terms like terroir, and the (sometimes) high prices.
While the coffee sector can no doubt learn a lot from wine, there are also areas where the wine sector has reason to admire coffee – and sustainability standards is one of them.
Sustainability standards are in several ways more complex for coffee than for wine, especially in terms of developing the standards, training, compliance, and monitoring.
This is certainly not to say that it is easy for the wine community, but here are four of the reasons.