Breaking New Ground in Gender Research in Coffee

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

iwca-RwandacherryPicking4.jpeg

Women coffee farmers in Rwanda. Source: IWCA

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.

Continue reading

Where The Troops Go, We Go

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

military-men-departing-service-uniform-40820.jpeg

By Thomas Jastermsky, Holy Joe’s Café

For the troops out in the field, even just a cup of coffee can bring the taste of home. Having a moment of down time with fellow active duty military personnel can help alleviate stress and build camaraderie.

Since 2006, Holy Joe’s Café has been sending free coffee and supplies to deployed U.S. military chaplains on military bases around the world. Here, anyone on the base  from NATO medical teams to Special Operating Forces  can stop in to relax and share in a taste of home. All are welcome, no matter their faith or background.

“Every time they have a cup of coffee, they are reminded that somebody cares about them. Even though I may only walk through the unit a couple times a month, the Chaplains Corps presence is felt on a daily basis, which is huge,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Keith Manry, 36th Wing chaplain.

Continue reading

A Producer’s Perspective: Challenges Across the Coffee Value Chain

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.

Knowledge_is_power_-_driving_a_hard_bargain_(5984450612).jpg

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.”

Continue reading

La Roya’s Return: How Can Coffee Farmers Survive?

The following is a guest post from Heifer International. See the NCA First Pull guest post guidelines

By Marco Machado, Heifer International

DSC1419.jpg

Photo: Stephanie Parker, via Medium

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Orangish yellow blotches are starting to appear on the leaves of coffee plants in eastern Honduras, according to reports from the field. It’s a sign that the dreaded coffee rust fungus, or la roya, is making a comeback and endangering the crop that’s vital to the economies of Latin America.

Five years ago, an outbreak decimated coffee in the region, triggering a state of emergency and famine watches.

How bad will it be this season? It’s too early to tell. All we know is that the plant-choking fungus – first discovered in East Africa nearly 150 years ago – poses a serious threat to coffee’s future in the Americas.

As we search for a way to defeat the fungus, the coffee industry can help smallholder farmers build resiliency and deal with shocks from la roya – as well as from climate change, market swings, and other volatility common with cash crops.

Continue reading

Seeding Coffee’s Future: A Conversation About Conservation and Verification

By Hanna Neuschwander, World Coffee Research

madagascar-wild -coffee.JPG

An unidentified Coffea species found in Madagascar, which is preserved in a coffee genebank. Ensuring these genebanks have adequate funding to continue operations should be a major priority of the coffee industry. Source: Sarada Krishnan

Sometimes facts are so obvious they become invisible.

In the case of coffee, one of those facts is this: Coffee comes from a plant. The entire $225 billion dollar coffee industry in the U.S. is built up from the roots of billions of living, breathing coffee plants that spend their days turning sunlight into fruit. Once you stop and think about it, it’s kind of profound. Nearly 1.7 million jobs — including, if you are reading this, probably yours — depend on those plants doing their thing, photosynthesizing, outsmarting diseases and pests, being rained on at the right time in the right amounts.

It’s also profound to think about just how fragile the entire arrangement is. The vast majority of coffee plants in the field today are really, really (really) genetically similar. Most varieties are not resistant to major diseases. Most are way too old (World Coffee Research guesses that about 50% of coffee trees are more than 50 years old). That leaves coffee especially vulnerable — to disease epidemics like the one that devastated Central American production after 2012, to extremes in weather like excessive rain or drought or frost.

When crops are facing challenges like these, it helps to go back to basics: Coffee is a plant. So — what is needed to help the plant thrive? And, thereby, to help the humans who depend on it?

Continue reading

Innovation, Sustainability, and the Global Coffee Industry

ci_30097488_full-768x512

Source: Conservation International, Cristina Mittermeier ©

By Bambi Semroc, Conservation International

Innovation is all around us.

From a 3D printer that enables doctors to construct human tissue, to a virtual reality headset that transports a policymaker in Washington, DC to a remote village in the Amazon to experience projects helping prevent deforestation. Things we never dreamed of 20 years ago are changing our daily lives. And, innovation is not just defined as “the next hot thing” – it’s critical to ensuring the sustainable growth of an industry.

The coffee sector is continually innovating. Consider the new roasting and brewing techniques that led to cold brew and single serve coffees. Or, consumer engagement through creative retail shops offering everything from hands-on technology to fully compostable cups.

That said, innovation in coffee also includes things the everyday drinker might not know about – from researchers developing new varieties and improved practices, to small-scale farmers adopting those varieties and experimenting with new techniques on their farms.

One of the most important innovations the coffee sector has been leading includes the work being done on sustainability.

Continue reading

How to Be a Better Boss: Leadership in Coffee Operations

By Andrew Russo
The following post is an excerpt from Fresh Cup Magazine

pexels-photo-302889.jpeg

In 2005 I stood in front of thirty soldiers, all with more experience than me, and was introduced as their leader. I was barely twenty-one years old, standing in front of a wide range of people of different ages, education levels, and socio-demographic backgrounds. Soon we would jump out of airplanes together, deploy together—and they expected me to lead them through it all. Sound intimidating? It is.

In coffee, taking charge of experienced baristas, roasters, and buyers is equally intimidating. How a team is led can make or break the experience.

Continue reading

The Business Strategy Behind Your Local Coffee Shop

By Vivian Giang, Fundera

StockSnap_3QX7WQCK52 (1).jpg

The way Americans drink coffee has changed drastically. According to the New York Times, Americans drink less coffee today than we did in the past, but we’re drinking higher quality, better brewed cups.

In fact, according to a 2014 National Coffee Drinking Trends study from the National Coffee Association (NCA), daily consumption of gourmet coffee among adults in the U.S. is up 34% in 2014, a 3% rise compared to 2013.

Continue reading

5 Coffee Industry Trends You Can’t Miss in 2017

By Tyler Hubbell
This post originally appeared on the Repsly blog

istock-493550798-min

In one form or another, chances are almost everyone you know starts their day with coffee – be it home-brewed, bottled, or purchased hot or iced from a coffee shop. As longstanding as its popularity may be, the coffee industry is in the midst of a rapid change.

As millennials’ fast-paced lifestyle becomes ubiquitous, consumers are preferring to get their caffeine on the go. In turn, retailers are experimenting with novel ways to speed up ordering and get busy shoppers back in their stores.

Here are the five coffee industry trends that will dominate 2017:  Continue reading

Reily Foods

NCA_Web_medium_conventionhome_nolalogo.png

Reily Foods is the sponsor of the NCA Convention 2018, March 15-17, in their hometown of New Orleans – during NOLA’s tricentennial anniversary!

Meet Our Members

reily_logo_largeCOMPANY: Reily Foods Company
LOCATION: New Orleans, LA

Responses provided by Mark Woods, Director of Purchasing and Quality Assurance, Reily Foods

What does Reily Foods do?

Reily Foods provides many of the staples you will find in your kitchen cabinet.

Continue reading