POLICY AND CERTIFICATIONS

A Sustainable Business-to-Business Approach to Importing Green Coffee from Women, Smallholder Producers in Rwanda


Preface:
This case study is sponsored by Food Enterprise Solutions (FES). FES is a US-based agribusiness solutions provider, serving growing food companies in emerging economies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Artisan Coffee Imports, LLC, (Artisan) is a small, woman-owned, US-based company, that imports green coffee, primarily from women coffee producers. The case study aims to share aspects of the work by Artisan Coffee Imports that exemplify the values and sustainable approaches supported by FES.

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November 17, 2022

Roberta Lauretti-Bernhard, Ruth Ann Church

Blockchain is not a silver bullet for agro-food supply chain sustainability: Insights from a coffee case study

Information sharing lies at the core of most governance interventions within agro-food commodity supply-chains, such as certification standards or direct trade relationships. However, actors have little information available to guide sustainable consumption decisions beyond simple labels. Blockchain technology can potentially alleviate the numerous sustainability problems related to agro-food commodity supply-chains by fostering traceability and transparency. Despite significant research on blockchain, there is limited understanding of the concrete barriers and benefits and potential applications of blockchain in real-world settings. Here, we present a case study of blockchain implementation in a coffee supply-chain. Our aim is to assess the potential of blockchain technology to promote sustainability in coffee supply chains through increased traceability and transparency and to identify barriers and opportunities for this. While our pilot implementation clearly illustrates certain benefits of blockchain, it also suggests that blockchain is no silver bullet for delivering agro-food supply chain sustainability. Knowledge on provenance and transparency of information on quality and sustainability can help trigger transformation of consumer behaviour, but the actual value lies in digitising the supply chain to increase efficiency and reduce costs, disputes, and fraud, while providing more insight end-to-end through product provenance and chain-of-custody information. We identify a need to understand and minimize supply chain barriers before we can reap the full benefits of digitalization and decentralization provided by blockchain technology.

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Coffee supply chain, Blockchain implementation, Sustainability governance, Colombia, Traceability, Transparency

5/19/2022

Bagera, S., Singh, C., Persson, U.

Improving Kenya’s coffee value chain: integration of sustainable consumption and production practices


Coffee is an essential player in Kenya’s agricultural industry, yet it has suffered a steady decline in production in the past 40 years. The sector can confront these challenges by incorporating Sustainable Consumption and Production Practices (SCPs) across the coffee value chain, which could both revitalize the industry and mitigate its contribution to climate change.

This policy brief explores the potential integration of SCPs and their benefits across the coffee production chain.

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Kenya, Sustainability, Coffee consumption and production

5/4/2022

Takama, T., Kwamboka, E., Ogeya, M., Nyambane, A. and Diaz-Chavez, R.

Improved Coffee Management by Farmers in State Forest Plantations in Indonesia: An Experimental Platform

The Indonesian state forest managers have accepted farmer-managed coffee agroforestry in their estates as part of their social forestry program. Access by local farming communities to state-owned plantation forestry supports public motivation to maintain forest cover. However, balancing the expectations and needs of forest managers with those of the local farming communities is not easy. Coffee yields in Indonesia are lower than those of neighboring countries, suggesting that there is scope for improvement. Here we describe an experimental research platform developed through an international collaboration between the Universitas Brawijaya (UB), the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH), and smallholder coffee farmers to explore options for improving pine-coffee agroforestry systems within existing regulations. Located in a former state-owned pine production forest on the slopes of the stratovolcano, Mount Arjuna, in the Malang Regency of East Java, the research platform has seven instrumented research plots (40 × 60 m2), where agronomic practices can be trialed. The aim of the platform is to support the development of sustainable agronomic practices to improve the profitability of coffee agroforestry and thus the livelihood of low-income rural communities. Current trials are focused on improving coffee yields and include pine canopy trimming, fertilizers, and coffee pruning trials, with links to the development of socio-economic and environmental models. Whilst it is too early to assess the full impacts on yields, a survey of farmers demonstrated a positive attitude to canopy pruning, although with some concern over labor cost. The initial ecosystem modelling has highlighted the benefits of coffee agroforestry in balancing environmental and economic benefits. Here we provide a detailed description of the site, the current trials, and the modelling work, with the hope of highlighting opportunities for future collaboration and innovation.

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agroforestry; social forestry; coffee; pine; UB Forest; tropical forest management

4/30/2022

Rowe, R., Prayogo, C., Oakley, S., Hairiah, K., Van Noordwijk, M., Wicaksono, K., Kurniawan, S., Fitch, A., Cahyono, E., Suprayogo, D., McNamara, N.

Interactions between Geomorphology and Production Chain of High-Quality Coffee in Costa Rica

High-altitude coffee has an international reputation due to its high quality, especially in countries with a long production history, such as Costa Rica. Specific geographical characteristics determine the regions where high-altitude coffee can be cultivated. Over the last two decades, new production conditions have promoted the growth of smallholder coffee farms in the Upper Buenavista Catchment (UBC) in the South of Costa Rica. To understand this phenomenon’s process, we initially performed a detailed geomorphological mapping of the high-elevation production sites in the UBC. Then, we used remote sensing to determine the coffee land cover (2005, 2012, and 2018) to compare their landforms. Furthermore, we analyzed the production–processing–market chain that has promoted coffee plantations since 2005. Our results show that coffee farmers chose more unstable and erosive areas with short-term production prospects to cultivate premium-priced coffee. Moreover, farmers have changed their role in the coffee sector, evolving from small producers to entrepreneurs with specialized knowledge. These actions may reduce economic risks and improve the household incomes of smallholder coffee producers. However, limited research has been conducted along the tropics about the relationships between landforms, socioeconomic drivers, and high-altitude coffee yield. Therefore, our results are essential to present geomorphology and applied geography as baselines in land-use planning for agricultural landscapes.

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high-altitude coffee; geomorphology; rural geography; production factors; Latin America

4/27/2022

Quesada-Román, A., Quirós-Arias, L., Zamora-Pereira, J.

Extraction and characterization of coffee husk biodiesel and investigation of its effect on performance, combustion, and emission characteristics in a diesel engine

Biodiesel and its blends with diesel are used in engines to overcome the problems of environmental pollution and fast depletion of conventional fuels. The purpose of this research is to extract oil from coffee husk, convert it into coffee husk oil methyl ester (CHOME) by transesterification, and test the suitability of this biodiesel as an alternate, renewable, sustainable fuel for a diesel engine. The physicochemical characteristics of the developed biodiesel are studied and compared with regular diesel. The results showed that the fundamental properties of the produced fuel are comparable to that of diesel. The performance, combustion, and emission characteristics of a diesel engine fueled with CHOME biodiesel are investigated. The experiments are conducted in a single-cylinder direct injection diesel engine at a constant speed by varying the loads (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100%) for different biodiesel-diesel blends (B10, B20, B30, B40, B50, and B80), and the results are compared with the baseline diesel. The brake thermal efficiency (BTE) of the blends, B10, B20, B30, and B50 dropped by 0.6, 0.7, 1.29, and 3%, respectively compared with the neat diesel. Similarly the brake specific energy consumption (BSEC) is reduced by 0.1, 0.3, 0.44, and 0.77% for B10, B20, B30, and B50, respectively. Exhaust gas emissions are reduced for all biodiesel-diesel blends. Compared to regular diesel, at full load, CO, HC, and smoke opacity of B30 reduced by 13.2%, 4%, and 12%, respectively. CO2 of B30 at full load is increased by 8.63%. In general, it can be stated that CHOME biodiesel is a promising alternate biodiesel that can be used in an internal combustion engine without major modifications.

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Coffee husk biodiesel, Transesterification, Diesel engine, Combustion, Performance,Emission

3/24/2022

Emma, A., Alangar, S., Yadav, A.

How close do you like your coffee? - Examining proximity and its effects in relationship coffee models

Relationship coffee models are generally characterized by a shortened value chain and efforts to achieve social, economic, and environmental sustainability. In three case studies with farmers organized in cooperatives in Peru and buyers in Austria or Germany, we analyzed the proximity among the geographically distant value chain actors. This paper aims to provide a more nuanced perspective on relational (organizational, institutional, cognitive, and social) proximity in relationship coffee models. The comparative analysis of the proximities in our case studies revealed that initial face-to-face contacts are required to build further proximity dimensions. Proximate relationship coffee models have led to more recognition, pride, a good reputation of the actors, higher coffee quality and thus farm-gate prices, and stable long-term relationships. However, relationship coffees require more coordination and communication among chain actors and advanced farmer skills and efforts to produce high-quality coffee. In relationship coffee models, farmers still depend on buyers and roasters to benefit from higher quality of their green coffee.

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Alternative food network, Proximity, Relationship coffee, Austria, Germany, Peru

3/5/2022

Edelmann, H., Quiñones-Ruiz, X., Penker, M.

Development and Experiments on a Batch-Type Solar Roaster—An Innovative Decentralized System for Coffee Roasting

About 70% of the harvested coffee is exported to the industrialized nations for value addition due to lack of processing and logistic facilities in developing coffee producer countries, thus leaving behind a marginal economic return for the growers. This research was conducted to investigate the roasting capacity of an innovatively developed batch-type directly solar radiated roasting system for the decentralized processing of coffee using solar energy. Central composite rotatable design (CCRD) was employed to design the experiments to optimize the coffee roasting process. Experimental results revealed that with an average solar direct normal irradiance (DNI) of 800 W/m2, the roaster was capable of roasting a batch of 2 kg coffee beans in 20, 23, and 25 min subjected to light roasts, medium roasts, and dark roasts, respectively at a drum speed of two revolutions per minute (rpm). The batch-type solar roaster has the capacity to roast 28.8–36 kg of coffee beans depending on dark to light roasting conditions on a clear sunny day with DNI ranging from 650 to 850 W/m2. The system thermal efficiency during coffee roasting was determined to be 62.2%, whereas the roasting efficiency at a corresponding light roast, medium roast, and dark roast was found to be 97.5%, 95.2%, and 91.3%, respectively. The payback period of the solar roaster unit was estimated to be 1038 working sunshine hours, making it viable for commercialization.

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renewable energy; Scheffler concentrator reflector; batch-type solar roaster; response
surface methodology; coffee roasting

2/15/2022

Majeed, F., Raza, A., Munir, A., Hensel, O.

Coffee Leaf Rust (Hemileia vastatrix) from the Recent Invasion into Hawaii Shares a Genotypic Relationship with Latin American Populations

Hawaii has long been one of the last coffee-producing regions of the world free of coffee leaf rust (CLR) disease, which is caused by the biotrophic fungus Hemileia vastatrix. However, CLR was detected in coffee farms and feral coffee on the island of Maui in February 2020 and subsequently on other islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. The source of the outbreak in Hawaii is not known, and CLR could have entered Hawaii from more than 50 coffee-producing nations that harbor the pathogen. To determine the source(s) of the Hawaii inoculum, we analyzed a set of eleven simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs) generated from Hawaii isolates within a dataset of 434 CLR isolates collected from 17 countries spanning both old and new world populations, and then conducted a minimum spanning network (MSN) analysis to trace the most likely pathway that H. vastatrix could have taken to Hawaii. Forty-two multilocus genotypes (MLGs) of H. vastatrix were found in the global dataset, with all isolates from Hawaii assignable to MLG 10 or derived from it. MLG 10 is widespread in Central America and Jamaica, making this region the most probable source of inoculum for the outbreak in Hawaii. An examination of global weather patterns during the months preceding the introduction of CLR makes it unlikely that the pathogen was windborne to the islands. Likely scenarios for the introduction of CLR to Hawaii are the accidental introduction of spores or infected plant material by travelers or seasonal workers, or improperly fumigated coffee shipments originating from Central America or the Caribbean islands.

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invasive diseases; plant pathogens; Pucciniales; rust fungi; tropical fungi

2/15/2022

Ramírez-Camejo, L., Keith, L., Matsumoto, T., Sugiyama, L., Fukada, M., Brann, M., Moffitt, A., Liu, J., Aime, M.

Local-adapted and high-yield varieties for sustainable Robusta coffee farming: Evidence from South Sumatera, Indonesia

Climate change causes an adverse impact on the coffee plantation as it directly influences the productivity and quality of coffee products. For the adaptation strategy, using superior variety is often considered an important step because it has potential attributes such as high yield and quality, and is more tolerant to certain environmental shocks. This study aims to analyze the environmental adaptability and financial feasibility of local Robusta coffee varieties. This study used data from field observations, surveys, and interviews of key informants in Ogan Komering Ulu Regency, South Sumatera, Indonesia from 2018-2021. Data were analyzed descriptively. Results showed that three local clones have high adaptability in the study site, even in a high precipitation rate. The varieties are financially feasible to be adopted by farmers, even though on a small scale. Sensitivity analysis with the scenario of decreasing the yield or increasing operational cost as the impact of climate variability about 10 percent showed the lower feasibility indicators (NPV, IRR, and Net B/C), but still higher than the minimum threshold so that still feasible and profitable for farmers. Hence, the three local clones are the potential to be developed for sustainable Robusta coffee plantations.

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Robusta coffee, local varieties, sustainability, financial feasibility

2/3/2022

Hasibuan, A., Randriani, E., Wicaksono, I., Santoso, D., Santoso, T.J.

Influence of Urea on Organic Bulk Fertilizer of Spent Coffee Grounds and Green Algae Chlorella sp. Biomass

To maintain high production and growing rates of plants, synthetically obtained fertilizers are commonly used. Excessive amounts of fertilizers damage the natural ecosystem and cause various environmental problems. In relation to the environment and its sustainability, another great environmental, economic, and social issue is food loss and waste. This paper aims to evaluate the impact of spent coffee grounds (SCG) on soil properties, rye growth, and their possibilities to be used as the biodegradable and organic material in the production of organic bulk fertilizer. This study demonstrated that spent coffee grounds contain primary nutrients; moreover, SCG could increase the content of soil organic matter. The addition of 4 wt% to 8 wt% SCG increased the number of spore-forming bacteria from <103 colony forming units/g soil (CFU/g soil) to 3 × 104 CFU/g soil, along with nitrogen assimilating bacteria (plain soil resulted in 5.0 × 105 CFU/g, and addition of SCG increased the value to 5.0 × 107 CFU/g). Since spent coffee grounds have a relatively high porosity and absorbance (25.3 ± 3.4 wt% in a water vapor environment and 4.0 ± 0.6 wt% in the environment of saturated sodium nitrate solution), they could be used to reduce the amount of water required for irrigation. To fully exploit their nutritional value for plants, spent coffee grounds were mixed with green algae biomass along with urea, and, during the research, higher value products (organic bulk fertilizer) were obtained.

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spent coffee grounds, green algae Chlorella sp. biomass, urea, organic bulk fertilizer, drum granulation, food waste

1/23/2022

Ragauskait, D., Šlinkšiene, R.

Explaining the willingness of consumers to bring their own reusable coffee cups under the condition of monetary incentives

An increasing number of hospitality firms attempt to foster sustainable practices among their customers. Amongst these, incentives for customers to bring their own reusable products stand out. In this study, we first analyse whether consumers are willing to bring a reusable coffee cup (RCC) under the condition of a monetary incentive (qualitative decision) and the minimum discount required for individuals to be willing to use an RCC (quantitative decision). Second, we analyse the explanatory factors impacting these two decisions. Several factors are proposed to explain an individual's willingness to bring an RCC including their environmental knowledge and involvement, and personal restrictions for using an RCC. An empirical application, conducted on 1,371 individuals using a Heckit model, allows us to conduct a joint modelling and provide a novel methodological contribution to the study of the willingness, and barriers, of individuals towards the use of RCCs in the coffee shop industry.

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Environmental sustainability, Reusable products, Discount, Monetary incentive, Sustainable consumption

1/13/2022

Nicolaua, J., Stadlthanner, K., Andreu, L., Font, X.

Do connoisseur consumers care about sustainability? Exploring coffee consumption practices through netnography

The coffee industry has experienced two major trends: the development of connoisseur consumption of specialty coffee and the importance of sustainability. Despite the increasing concomitant relevance of both trends, literature on how sustainability has been interlacing with connoisseur consumption is rather limited. Therefore, this paper aims to analyse how connoisseur consumers (CC) integrate sustainability into their coffee consumption practices.

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Connoisseur consumers, Coffee, Sustainability, Social practice theory

1/7/2022

Bartoloni, S., Ietto, B., Pascucci, F.

Eco-labels matter: Coffee consumers value agrochemical-free attributes over biodiversity conservation

Sustainability certifications, or eco-labels, inform consumers about the environmental conservation attributes of a product and must be updated to accommodate advances in scientific knowledge and changes in market conditions. We evaluated the willingness to pay (WTP) for sustainability attributes of the Bird Friendly® coffee certification and found that coffee consumers value an agrochemical-free (e.g. organic) label over a biodiversity conservation label. We designed and implemented a choice experiment where consumers choose between conventional coffee and coffee with four sustainable attributes often listed on packages: organic, pesticide-free, shade-grown, and Bird Friendly. Consumers were willing to pay a premium of $2.20 per 12 oz for Bird Friendly coffee over a conventional coffee with no sustainable attributes. Premiums are higher for organic ($5.80) or pesticide-free coffee ($3.60), and lower for shade grown coffee ($1.40). Because consumers value agrochemical management relative to other features of biodiversity, our results suggest that ecolabels can maximize consumer interest by enforcing and promoting agrochemical standards, i.e. production without pesticides, in addition to the characteristics of preserving biodiversity.

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co-labels, Sustainability, Coffee, Willingness to pay, Organic, Biodiversity conservation

12/29/2021

Gatti, N., Gomez, M., Bennett, R., Sillett, T., Bowe, J.

Coffee By-Products as Sustainable Novel Foods: Report of the 2nd International Electronic Conference on Foods—“Future Foods and Food Technologies for a Sustainable World”

The coffee plant Coffea spp. offers much more than the well-known drink made from the roasted coffee bean. During its cultivation and production, a wide variety of by-products are accrued, most of which are currently unused, thermally recycled, or used as fertilizer or animal feed. Modern, ecologically oriented society attaches great importance to sustainability and waste reduction, so it makes sense to not dispose of the by-products of coffee production but to bring them into the value chain, most prominently as foods for human nutrition. There is certainly huge potential for all of these products, especially on markets not currently accessible due to restrictions, such as the novel food regulation in the European Union. The by-products could help mitigate the socioeconomic burden of coffee farmers caused by globally low coffee prices and increasing challenges due to climate change. The purpose of the conference session summarized in this article was to bring together international experts on coffee by-products and share the current scientific knowledge on all plant parts, including leaf, cherry, parchment, and silverskin, covering aspects from food chemistry and technology, nutrition, but also food safety and toxicology. The topic raised a huge interest from the audience and this article also contains a Q&A section with more than 20 answered questions.

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coffee by-products, sustainable world, coffee leaves, coffee flower, coffee cherry, coffee
pulp, cascara, parchment, coffee silverskin, beverages, coffee grounds, food safety, novel food

12/21/2021

Lachenmeier, D., Schwarz, S., Rieke-Zapp, J., Cantergiani, E., Rawel, H., Martín-Cabrejas, M.,Martuscelli, M., Gottstein, V., Angelon, S.