Sustainability Standards: More Complex For Coffee Than Wine

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Leading sustainability standards for coffee are truly international and used worldwide.

By Morten Scholer, former UN advisor and author of the recent book Coffee and Wine: Two Worlds Compared 

 Part I: Sustainability Standards For Coffee – With Hidden Agendas


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.

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IWCA in Atlanta: Lessons Learned From Sustainability-Focused Initiatives

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Calling all NCA 2019 Convention attendees!

You’re invited to a lively interactive forum, titled Connect. Empower. Advance. Insights & Lessons Learned From Sustainability-Focused Initiatives.

Join the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and moderator Nathalie Gabbay, Representative of RGC Coffee, for the IWCA Annual Luncheon fundraiser at the NCA 2019 Convention in Atlanta, GA.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to get high-level insights into leading sustainability initiatives and connect with colleagues from across the coffee industry.

Panelists and discussion topics include:

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Coffee at a Crossroad: 3 Industry Trends to Watch in 2019

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From functional ingredients to sustainable practices, new consumer values are transforming market trends.

The following post originally appeared in Tea & Coffee Trade Journal


The coffee industry is again going through a transformation, driven by shifting consumer values in an increasingly connected global landscape.

Today, people are using their purchasing decisions to support companies that reflect their values and introduce new innovations.

“The theme of this year’s NCA Convention [March 7-9, 2019 in Atlanta] is ‘coffee at a crossroads.’ In this time of unprecedented change, the decisions we make today as an industry will determine our direction in the years to come,” says Bill Murray, NCA President & CEO.

Here’s what to watch (and watch out for) in the year ahead:

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Boom Time for the Brazilian Coffee Industry

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Signs show that 2019 will bring even better results.

By William (Bill) Murray
President & CEO, National Coffee Association


The Brazilian coffee industry is flourishing.

The latest update from the Brazilian Coffee Exports Council (CECAFE) indicated 2018 was another bumper year for the largest producer and exporter of coffee in the world. “Statistics show that Brazil maintained its world leadership position and signs are that 2019 will bring even better results,” said Nelson Carvalhaes, Chairman of the Brazilian Exporters Coffee Council.

CECAFE’s recent update is full of interesting trends and statistics for coffee producers, connoisseurs, and consumers alike. And given Brazil’s scale in the global coffee market, updates from CECAFE always act as a useful barometer on the health of our industry overall.

Let’s take a look at the top four key takeaways:

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Coffee Clickbait Goes Bananas

Banana and coffee for breakfast

New research on coffee and climate change indicates an urgent situation for crops at origin

Behind the headlines on the future of coffee, according to science – and how you can get involved.

By William (Bill) Murray, NCA CEO & President
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Complete with the typical clickbait-style headline, a recent article intoned that the global population is imminently doomed to a world without coffee – and “not much” can be done about this “on a personal level.”

Sounds grim.

But it could be easy to miss the glimmer of hope buried in the last line:

This future could look bleak for morning coffee drinkers, but with the help of farmers and scientists, our cup of joe can be protected.”

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NCA Member Spotlight: AMI

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Read previous NCA member spotlights, or check out our complete list of members


AMI logo

COMPANY: AMI
LOCATION: Bristol, UK
TWITTER: @contact_AMI
FACEBOOK: /AMI
NCA MEMBER SINCE: Nov. 2018


What does AMI do?

AMI is Europe’s largest consultancy dedicated to providing business information for the global plastics industry.

With more relevance to the coffee industry, AMI’s lead packaging consultant, Martyna Fong, has championed the development of the single serve capsules expertise. She has a thorough understanding of the supply chain, global trends, and technical innovation in the segment.

AMI is keen to assist the NCA community with its market intelligence as well as specialist single serve capsules conferences – in North America and in Europe.

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Pt. I: Sustainability Standards For Coffee – With Hidden Agendas

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Changing from conventional to more sustainable practices

By Morten Scholer, former UN advisor and author of the recent book Coffee and Wine: Two Worlds Compared 

The following post is first in a two-part series 


Almost half of all coffee is produced under one of the recognized sustainability standards. That’s 70 million bags, or four million metric tons.

However, only around a third of sustainably recognized coffee is eventually traded and labelled as sustainable – a discrepancy that is being addressed by all parties involved in attempts to reduce the gap.

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Coffee Gives Back: Showcase Spotlight

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Applications for the NCA 2019 Origin Charity of the Year Award are due December 10. Learn more


By William, (Bill) Murray, NCA CEO & President
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Now more than ever, our communities and neighbors could use a helping hand. In the coffee industry, our community crosses borders with our supply chain, and giving back is no longer optional.

Here at the National Coffee Association (NCA), we decided about a year ago that – rather than starting yet one more program to help others – we were uniquely positioned to help in a different way.

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Part 2: What Does Direct Trade Coffee Mean?

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The following post is the second in a three-part series that looks at how the coffee industry can become  more circular and direct across the supply chain. 

Part 1: Transparency and Traceability Across the Coffee Supply Chain


By Dr. Terry Tudor and Dr. Nicholas Head, SusConnect Ltd

The global coffee industry is growing. However, it is important that there are measures taken to ensure that this growth is circular and that small farmers and producers benefit along the way.

A direct trade model, which takes account of circular business models, along with the use of blockchain technology, offers the opportunity to realize these goals.

“Direct trade” is a term used by coffee roasters who buy straight from the growers, cutting out both the traditional middleman buyers and sellers, and also the organisations that control certifications. Continue reading