By Bambi Semroc, Conservation International
[Ed. note: To learn more about this project, join Bambi Semroc and Annette Pensel, Global Coffee Platform, for the breakout session “Making Coffee the First Sustainable Commodity,” at the NCA Annual Convention 2017, March 23-25, Austin, TX]
Source: Conservation International, Cristina Mittermeier ©
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.
By Angela Magnusson, Commercial Relations Manager, Fairtrade America
“At its core, transparency is the free and open access to knowledge, which implies that information flows all ways.”
In today’s digital age, instantaneous and open sharing of information no longer dazzles us. Transparency, from the perspective of the US consumer, has increasingly become an expectation and not just a ‘nice-to-have.’
According to “Transparency 2015, Establishing Trust with Consumers,” a recent study from the Hartman Group, while general familiarity with the term “sustainability” continues to grow and shape purchases in the U.S., transparency is emerging as a new buying ideal. This trend represents more than the simple economic exchange people have with companies, but a fundamental shift in the relationship we have with the world and others around us.
More companies are sharing the stories of their products and becoming more adept at communicating just what it is this new generation of customers want to know. But to what end does transparency serve farmers and their families? How can transparency in the other direction – with farmers and cooperatives – provide the groundwork for long-term trust and sustainability in the coffee industry?
Source: Neil Palmer (CIAT) via Wikimedia Commons
“Coffee has a lot of potential to effect positive change in the world.”
Meredith Taylor, Sustainability Manager, Counter Culture Coffee, on the issues threatening the coffee supply chain, “pre-competitive collaboration,” and how any company can start taking action – today: Continue reading
Energy generation from byproducts at Buencafe, Colombia
“Innovation and sustainability are linked as key drivers for our future.”
Nina Goodrich, executive director, GreenBlue, explains why the new circular economy will depend on sustainable materials management – and what that means for the entire coffee supply chain. Continue reading