“Coffee is both delicious and healthy.”
California’s Misguided Labeling Decision Impacts Coffee Growers & Drinkers
This post was originally published on the Global Farmer Network
By Luiz Roberto Saldanha Rodrigues
When a Los Angeles judge earlier this month finalized a ruling that coffee sold in California must carry cancer warning labels, many California residents may not have paid much attention to yet another labeling requirement.
Ever since voters passed Proposition 65 more than 30 years ago, after all, Californians have watched the steady proliferation of vague statements about chemicals, cancer, and birth defects. They appear almost everywhere, from the windows of hardware stores to signs at Disneyland. They’re so abundant that Amazon even sells them as stickers in rolls of 500.
Many people have begun to ignore these labels because they’re so common and because the information they convey is almost useless.
So why am I concerned if they now also show up on coffee?
By Kyle Freund, Fairtrade America
Coffee continues to be the world’s most-recognized Fairtrade product, representing an estimated 4 percent of the global market. By encouraging direct relationships, sharing of information, and stable prices, Fairtrade can provide both roasters and farmers with greater stability and a quality product.
Fairtrade America, the US-member of Fairtrade International, is preparing to release its annual monitoring and impact report, a compendium of facts, stats and data covering the full supply chain spectrum from origin to store shelves.
Supporting Coffee Communities at Origin: Q&A with Grounds For Health, the 2018 NCA Origin Charity of The Year Award Winner
The National Coffee Association is proud to recognize Grounds For Health as the first-ever recipient of the NCA Origin Charity of the Year Award, for their work providing cervical cancer screenings and treatment for women working in the coffeelands. The 2018 award is generously sponsored by Mother Parker’s Tea & Coffee, and was presented by Michael Gaviña, NCA Chair, on March 16 at the NCA 2018 Annual Convention in New Orleans.
The NCA Origin Charity of the Year Award is part of the NCA Coffee Gives Back Showcase & Award Program, to recognize the outstanding impact of nonprofits dedicated to supporting coffee communities at origin. (Learn more about NCA Coffee Gives Back Showcase & Award eligibility and application requirements.)
“Our work in the coffee regions of Latin American and East Africa has been supported in great measure by the coffee industry,” says Ellen Starr, Executive Director, Grounds for Health, in the NCA news release. “Our relationship demonstrates just how much social change can be achieved when an industry fundamentally cares about its people at every step of the supply chain.”
Here, Star discusses what it’s like treating one of the greatest health care inequities facing developing nations, her experience working with the coffee community, and how the organization is scaling up.
Why International Women’s Day matters to the coffee industry
Women are essential to the coffee supply chain – but too often their contributions go unrecognized and unrewarded. Disenfranchisement and gender inequity are perpetuated through a myriad of economic, systemic, and cultural issues (from the insidious to the overt).
However, through hard work and persistence, we’re beginning to see a powerful (and empowering) change across the industry. These inspiring initiatives are fueled by new (and overdue) research on women in coffee, which gives us critical data to measure real impact.
But there is still a long way to go.
A New Industry Guide for Renovation & Rehabilitation
Coffee-growing regions around the world are feeling the impact of aging trees and diseases (such as coffee leaf rust, pictured above), on the quality and supply of coffee. Supporting responsible coffee farm renovation and rehabilitation is crucial to the future of coffee, and the longevity of our industry.
That’s why the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, in partnership with USAID’s Bureau for Food Security and Dalberg Advisors, has released a new Guidebook for Roasters, Traders, and Supply Chain Partners.
The Guidebook is a comprehensive resource for companies, governments, investors, and service providers interested in undertaking Renovation & Rehabilitation (R&R) efforts; it:
- Defines the need and makes the case for renovation and rehabilitation
- Provides practical & useful tips on how to structure R&R programs
- Suggests ways that different stakeholders can engage in R&R
- Presents case studies and links to experts and service providers
R&R investments are critical for ensuring the continued supply of coffee and meeting future demand. While governments and actors in coffee value chains have invested USD 1.2 billion in R&R so far, this has only met around 5% of the smallholder farmers in need
According to the Guidebook, if the industry did reach these farmers in need of R&R, benefits would include more coffee, higher incomes for farmers, and reduction in future deforestation.
Here’s a look at the numbers: Continue reading
By William (Bill) Murray, President & CEO, National Coffee Association
“The farmer has to be an optimist, or he wouldn’t be a farmer.”
– Will Rogers, U.S. Social Commentator, 1879-1935
More than any other pursuit, successful farming depends on “external” factors. Successful farming depends upon some things that can’t be controlled easily, and some things that can’t be controlled at all.
A coffee farmer inspects his crop in Colombia. Photo: Neil Palmer (CIAT) – via Wikimedia
Perspectives on the New SCA Report On Farm Profitability
In an article published on Daily Coffee News, Kraig Kraft from CRS Coffeelands addressed the Specialty Coffee Association’s recently released report that reviewed existing public information about farm profitability and costs.
The main — and surprising — conclusion from the analysis is that farm yield is not correlated to farm income. On the surface, this seems somewhat paradoxical.
Why wouldn’t higher production lead to more income?
Grounds for Health, an international NGO dedicated to the prevention of cervical cancer in developing countries, is embarking on a large fundraising campaign and it began with a bang. A very generous supporter offered to match every donation received before January 2018, up to $200,000.
Thanks to strong local health partners and coffee industry support, Grounds for Health has successfully screened over 80,000 women and treated more than 6,000 women in low resource settings since 1996.
The following is a guest post submitted to The First Pull. See our guest post guidelines.
By Ruth Ann Church and Josiane Cotrim Macieira, The International Women’s Coffee Alliance
In coffee, the women who perform much of the labor – up to 70%, according to the ITC’s Coffee Exporters’ Guide – to grow, harvest, process, and export coffee are all too often invisible.
Few organizations are focused on collecting or publishing data specifically on the women involved in the supply chain for commodities like coffee; and there has been little to no funding allocated to this task. Even in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producing country, the lack of data makes one believe that women do not exist.
Experts agree that women are the greatest untapped resource available to avert challenges to the global coffee industry. But the lack of data on women makes it impossible to understand their impact in the value chain. This leads to under-performance in the coffee industry, much like how poor recognition of contributions in any industry can cause lagging productivity.
Photo courtesy of Fairtrade International
via Fairtrade America
Around 80% of the world’s coffee is produced by 17.7 million small-scale coffee farmers. And while the coffee industry aims to be a sustainability leader, the fact is that many farmers continue to struggle to make ends meet and support their families.
New research finds that the future of coffee depends on adequate income for farmers. A pilot study by Fairtrade International and True Price shows that despite sustainability pledges in the coffee sector, many coffee farmers struggle to make ends meet.
Key findings from the report include: