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.”
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:
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:
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.
COMPANY: Magnum Coffee
LOCATION: Nunica, MI & Las Vegas, NV
Questions answered by Robert Johnson, VP of Sales and Marketing
What does Magnum Coffee do?
We specialize in premium and specialty private label coffee programs for retailers.
By William “Bill” Murray, CAE, President & CEO, NCA
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?
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.
Infographic created by I Love Coffee
Everybody is talking about it, but what the heck is it?
The following is a guest post submitted to The First Pull. See our guest post guidelines.
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.
[Editor’s note: If you have no idea what this title means, check out this infographic explaining third wave coffee.]
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.