“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?
Read the full release at Global Coffee Platform
The Global Coffee Platform, which represents more than 150 stakeholders across the entire coffee sector in sustainability, has appointed Carlos Brando as their new Chair of the Board.
In addition to facilitating the GCP Board’s strategic governance, Mr. Brando is set to further strengthen the relationships between GCP and international donor bodies, ensuring that more and more of the $350M spent annually on coffee sustainability is aligned with a shared sector agenda – better coordinated, and therefore more effective.
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.
Photo illustration by Dennis Schroeder, NREL
By Phil Pienkos, NREL
When it comes to sustainability in the coffee supply chain, industry members have been finding creative ways to conserve on every level, from the farm to the coffee shop. But what happens to the grounds after the coffee’s brewed?
Many coffee shops already have composting programs, but what if there were a way, not only to divert used grounds from the landfill, but to use those grounds to produce energy? Research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is exploring this question — and is starting to see some exciting developments with help from the coffee industry.
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 Michael Edwards, Dig Insights
Upsiide is a new idea screening app that is inspired by Tinder. Designed by Dig Insights (the experts behind the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends Report), the mobile platform connects companies to real-time consumer feedback and powerful analytics.
The concept sounds complicated, but it’s simple to use. Here’s how it works:
Survey respondents using the app are shown an idea (a potential claim, a new beverage idea, a packaging idea, a branding idea a positioning idea, etc.). The idea can be expressed with any combination of text, images, and/or video. The respondent swipes right or left to like or dislike the idea, or can request more information. Once two ideas are liked, they are paired head-to-head for the respondent to indicate which concept they prefer most. The winning concept is advanced to the next round of trade-off.
The NCA used Upsiide to test how consumers react to coffee production information, including certifications, information about the farms where the coffee is grown, information about the coffee strain used in the product, etc.
So, what does Upsiide tell us about coffee production information?
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?
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.
Editor’s note: Next month, the global coffee industry will gather in Medellin for the World Coffee Producers Forum to explore how to strengthen farmers, discussing sustainability, labor, managing price volatility, and improving productivity and yields. Here, Frederick Kawuma, Secretary General of the Inter African Coffee Organization (IACO), sets the stage for these discussions by providing an overview from the producers’ perspective.
Coffee farmer Feleke Dukamo checks the latest coffee prices. Source: Wikimedia Commons
By Frederick Kawuma, Secretary General of the Inter African Coffee Organization (IACO)
There has recently been a spate of studies analyzing the income of coffee farmers. The first thing that becomes evident is that the income from coffee farming varies depending on the country, and even the region within the country, where the studies have been done.
The second thing that becomes evident is that the income from coffee farming depends on the price the farmer gets for his coffee, which depends on “the market.”