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.
With the UN General Assembly kicking off
this week in New York and the International Coffee Organization convening in
London next week, we’re heading into a busy time for the global coffee
community. With all the travel hours ahead of us, it’s a good time to pause and
reflect on the hard questions and big opportunities that will shape coffee’s
show coffee consumption reduces risk of everything from dementia to heart
disease to depression to certain types of cancer. The science is clear – coffee is good for the
people who drink it. This past summer even California joined the side of
scientific consensus to recognize coffee’s health benefits.
It’s not just that some coffee is
good. More coffee is better. In fact,
research from the National Institute of Health shows that drinking six or seven cups of coffee a day may
reduce the risk of death from any cause by up to 16 percent. The average
American coffee drinker only drinks three cups per day currently, meaning many
of us are missing out on coffee’s full potential.
Even better – an extra cup of joe (or five)
isn’t just good for the people who drink coffee, it’s good for the people who
The world currently grows a billion pounds
more coffee than we drink. A study
commissioned by the World Coffee Producers Forum confirmed that coffee prices
are stable based on current supply, particularly driven by increased efficiency
in leading coffee-growing countries.
Why did you become a member of the National Coffee Association (NCA)?
We joined because NCA is the leading trade association for the U.S. coffee market. NCA members are comprised of organizations from across the industry. NCA is an advocate for the entire coffee industry, an educator who leads the industry in market intelligence and a conduit for networking with industry peers to address key industry issues.
Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues a new edition of the Dietary
Guidelines. These are dietary
recommendations for Americans to practice healthy eating habits.
Shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), these guidelines have an enormous impact on US perceptions and behaviors regarding nutrition and health, which is why it’s critical to communicate the science on coffee and health.
Setting the stage for the next evolution in dietary guidance to Americans for 2020-2025
Editor’s note: The connection between lifestyle and health is increasingly being recognized by the medical and scientific communities. We know that diet, exercise habits, and smoking and alcohol consumption impact our health. And as the science continues to advance, it seems there are new discoveries weekly.
To help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices, the U.S. Government issues Dietary Guidelines, which in the past have been communicated by USDA guides such as the Food Guide Pyramid and MyPlate.
When the USDA last undertook this exercise, the NCA formally recommended that the healthy aspects of coffee be recognized – and they were. The 2015-2020 Guidelines acknowledge that coffee can be part of a healthy diet.
And the process to update these guidelines is now well underway.
By Dr. Mark Corey, Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, National Coffee Association
Over the past two days, I attended the meeting of the 2020-2025
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in Washington, DC, focused on
creating the protocol and guidelines shaping US nutrition and guidance to
Americans for the next 5 years.
Panels of experts are examining every aspect of the American diet, inside and out, and have outlined their process for evaluating the science-based evidence. Subcommittees are focused on a range of topics such as dietary patterns and looking across different age groups from birth to older adults.
From sourcing to roasting, coffee companies can have a lot to say about their product. These messages can majorly influence consumer perception and behavior – but not necessarily in the ways you’d expect.
A new NCA Consumer Insights report (based on NCDT data) takes a closer look at coffee claims – which include general statements, perceptions, or things that people find motivating about coffee.
For example, said Cheryl Hung, VP of Research at Dig Insights, during a recent webinar: “What kind of equity does coffee have with consumers? Are there positive and negative associations with coffee among different demographics? Who perceives coffee in a negative light? And what can we say to persuade them from a marketing perspective, or via point of sale?”