Gender Equity: Strengthening the Links of the Coffee Supply Chain

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Gender equity is good for the coffee business.

The Partnership for Gender Equity (PGE) believes that vibrant farming communities are the key to producing better coffee, and more of it. Therefore, they’re working to address this issue through large-scale collaboration, standardized best practices, and stronger data – starting with the report, “The Way Forward: Accelerating Gender Equity in Coffee Value Chains.”

During a recent NCA webinar, “Gender Equity: Strengthening the Links of the Coffee Supply Chain,” industry experts Kimberly Easson, Samantha Veide, and Chad Trewick discussed key findings, required resources, and where the industry can go from here.

Four highlights emerged from the research:

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What I Wish I Knew: Advice From Coffee Shop Owners

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The following post originally appeared in full on the Bond Street Small Business Blog

Starting a coffee business is not for the faint of heart. It will bring blood, sweat, and tears (plus a lot of caffeine).

Yet, there’s still something that makes the pursuit worthwhile.

And as the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. So what better way to truly learn what it takes to successfully build a coffee business than to turn to those who know best?

The editors at Bond Street asked individuals behind some of America’s best cups  to share what they wish they knew before opening their coffee shops, or other caffeine-infused operations. The result is 33 pieces of advice that all aspiring entrepreneurs would benefit from knowing.

From mistakes made to tricks of the trade, you’re bound to discover at least one nugget of wisdom that will save you time, money, energy, and quite possibly your sanity — or all of the above.

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Looking Ahead: Your Business is Our Business

By William “Bill” Murray, CAE, President & CEO, NCA

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What’s ahead for your business?

As you look to the months and years to come, what are the greatest challenges you are facing, the biggest opportunities you see?

And how are you going to build the future you envision for your organization?

We’re in the midst of this very exercise here at the National Coffee Association, USA. Our current Strategic Plan was written three years ago. At that time our priority was to evolve NCA, rapidly and efficiently, and catch up with a changing world.

Our 2015-2017 plan called for us to update our infrastructure and communications (websites, newsletters, social media) and add member benefits (discount programs, Coffee Career Center, Business Directory, webinars).

Even as we were making these changes over the past three years, our day-to-day agenda grew exponentially. We took on new projects ranging from science and health issues (like last year’s review of coffee and cancer by the World Health Organization), to Federal regulatory developments (like the proposed Border Adjustment Tax).

All of which raises the question:

What’s next for the NCA?

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Study: Drinking Coffee May Help Protect Against Liver Disease

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A new study shows that drinking four cups of coffee a day may help prevent deadly disease, and may even counter the damage caused by unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits. (One cup of herbal tea also offers the same protection.)

Previous evidence suggested that coffee and tea could have a protective effect on liver tissue, but the results haven’t been conclusive. Now for the first time, scientists have confirmed the potential benefits of these beloved beverages.

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Changing the Game: Coffee Sustainability in Honduras

The following is a guest post submitted to The First Pull. See our guest post guidelines

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By Eduardo Rivera, Compañia Hondureña del Café (COHONDUCAFE)

During a recent weekly visit to coffee farms, as part of our support and monitoring program to coffee farms in Honduras, we came across small farm. Mr. Robinson Jimenez welcomed us into his home. He has been have been growing coffee for quite some time now, and until recently, he has been doing it without any technical training or information that you would find in a classroom.

A lot of coffee growers in Honduras grow coffee as how their father and grandfather did before them. However, this practice is changing. Climate change, economic factors, deforestation and other factors all play a role.

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4 Practical Ways to Teach Second Wave Consumers About Third Wave Coffee

[Editor’s note: If you have no idea what this title means, check out this infographic explaining third wave coffee.]

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The following post originally appeared on Perfect Daily Grind
Written by E. Squires and edited by T. Newton

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent countless hours reading, researching, tasting, traveling, and diving deeper into our favorite drink. You love reading about farmers and their best practices. You spend hours perfecting your brew methods and your espresso shots.

But many, if not most, of your customers won’t be as interested in the minutiae of TDS and coffee processing methods. They simply want a shot of caffeine (plus or minus sugar). Sure, some customers will come for a quality coffee experience. A select few will even want to know everything. But these will be in the minority.

The thing about us in the Third Wave is that we’re desperate to share specialty coffee with everybody – but we can’t. Great customer service means understanding your customers and meeting them where they are, whether it’s simply a morning caffeine fix or a matter of helping them along their coffee journey in small steps.

Yet while you can’t force your customers to appreciate coffee like you do, you can open the door and allow them to walk through it. Getting the balance is hard, so we’ve come up with four practical ways to teach people about Third Wave coffee without preaching or being intimidating.

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Even Daily Coffee Drinkers Can Boost Athletic Performance With Caffeine

“Caffeine improves athletic performance. This is a truth almost universally acknowledged in exercise science.” — Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times

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Drinking caffeinated coffee has been scientifically linked to improved physical performance. And for years, many scientists, coaches, and athletes believed that an athlete had to abstain for days or weeks before an event to gain a boost.

But a new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that these ideas about caffeine and athletic performance are outdated.

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NCA Speaks Out Against Seattle Beverage Tax

“As a regressive tax borne largely by consumers, the proposal can hurt […] hundreds of independent roasters, coffee shops, restaurants, retailers, and suppliers. Aimed at promoting a healthy diet, the tax would have the opposite effect if applied to coffee.”  – William M. Murray, CEO, NCA 

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The Seattle City Council will vote on introducing a “soda tax” in the city on Monday. The measure would put a one-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages, and would impact coffee as collateral damage. Furthermore, small businesses would be disproportionately affected.

The National Coffee Association has submitted the following letter to the City Council to express the industry’s strong position on how the tax would severely impact the local coffee economy and that coffee should be exempt should any soda tax be ratified.

Read the full NCA comment letter.

In the News

Is Seattle’s proposed soda tax also a tax on sugary lattes?

Take Action

Tell the Seattle city council that levying a soda tax on coffee would have unintended and unanticipated consequences for the coffee industry and local businesses. Send an email to  council@seattle.gov, or call 206-684-8888.

Comments? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch at info@ncausa.org.