An online resource library for the coffee industry
Reuse: rethinking packaging
This research has been written for The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and it focuses on how the topic of waste management can be used as an opportunity rather than a threat. In fact, according to the article, this is an industry of 10+billion USD, where innovation comes as an opportunity to develop benefits for the industry. The main catalysts for such a shift reside in the technology engagement especially on the digital aspect of it, and in the shift of the final consumer’s preferences that will eventually become more oriented towards recycling and recycled products/policies. The outcomes that derive from such evolution are diverse and include: enhanced user experience, products that are crafted to meet the individual user’s needs and gather insights from them, a systematic enhancement of the brand loyalty form the final consumer, better and optimized operations that lead to an ultimate cost saving structure. The study maps 69 reuse examples generated by the study of 100 cases, with the contribution of more than 50 experts. This article can be interesting for anyone in the industry who wants to have an easy to ready and detailed guide on reuse and recycle critical topics.
Ecosystem services by birds and bees to coffee in a changing climate: a review of coffee berry borer control and pollination.
The authors of this paper examine two key services provided by nature, pest control by birds and pollination by bees. They first examine the services themselves and they use data to try and give a dollar value to the services provided. Then, they examine how coffee will likely change as the climate changes, as well as how climate change might impact bird species and the Coffee Berry Borer. They also examine how climate change might harm pollinator species like native and non-native bees. The ultimate conclusions include paying farmers and educating them to preserve their forested lands, use fewer pesticides, preserve soils, and use shade trees. Readers interested in agricultural ecosystems and climate change will find this article interesting.
Chain-Guadarrama, A., Martínez-Salinas, A., Aristizábal, N., Ricketts, T. H.
Bean to bin and beyond
The British Coffee Association has published this article in order to raise awareness throughout the whole supply chain of coffee on what the United Kingdom is doing in terms of circular economy. The main projects and initiatives are explained and analyzed, and the main goals are depicted, with an analysis of the key challenges that the industry must face in order to enhance the circular principles. The concept of coffee circularity index is also presented as an innovative high- level evaluation tool. The authors of the article also focus on origin and how sustainability and circularity is encouraged by promoting coffee farming practices that include tree renovation (carbon off-setting), and repurposing of coffee pulp byproduct. The authors also stress in the need for innovation in the sector where cooperation in key and for a general synergy that goes beyond the efforts of a single company. As a drive for the industry the authors identify seven goals for a Sustainable Circular Coffee Economy that should function as a guidance scheme that the various actors of the supply chain should use to overcome the challenges and achieve a better environment. This article should be of interest for roasters, producers, and intermediaries.
A literature review and a case study of sustainable supply chains with a focus on metrics
Literature on sustainable supply chains from the period of 2000 to 2010. Frameworks and performance measurements for supply chains are given, as well as a case study to illustrate the authors' theories.
Supply chain, sustainability, measurement
Hassini, E., Surti, C., Searcy, C.
We want to be equal to them: fair-trade coffee certification and gender equity within organizations
This paper analyzes the understudied gendered dimensions of fair-trade coffee networks and certification practices. It combines data collected during 14 months of fieldwork among the members of a Guatemalan coffee cooperative with a survey of the existing literature on fair-trade coffee cooperatives to demonstrate that the current fair-trade network is falling far short of its goal to promote gender equity, particularly in three important realms: voting and democratic participation, the promotion of non-agricultural income generating programs, and support for female coffee producers.
This "toolkit" recommends practices that support coffee farming as a family endeavor that also includes women and children. Addressing both the future of youth in coffee families as well as the already existing distrubution of resources, this project both discusses and offers suggestions pertaining to the involvement of the entire family in the coffee supply chain.
gender equality, farmers, case study
Senders, A., Motz, M., Lentink, A.
Sustainably improving Kenya’s coffee production needs more participation of younger farmers with diversified income
Kenya has a reputation for incredible coffee, and many farmers in Kenya rely on coffee for their income. Yet Kenyan coffee production is declining due to its economic instability. A team of social scientists in Kenya came together to conduct an extensive study of six cooperatives in communities surrounding the Mt. Elgon volcano. Interviews, meetings, and focus groups helped them zero in on some recommendations for the coffee industry in Kenya. Their findings apply to governments. NGOs, and cooperatives themselves. And finally, they conclude that interventions and programs must be targeted toward young farmers to encourage them to sustainably intensify coffee production as the older generation ages. Readers interested in East Africa, youth issues in coffee, and economic sustainability in coffee will be particularly interested in this paper.
Policy and Certifications
Wairegi, L. W., Bennett, M., Nziguheba, G., Mawanda, A., Rios, C. D., Ampaire, E., Asten, P. J.
Intercropping of coffee with the palm tree, macauba, can mitigate climate change effects
Global climate changes can affect coffee production in Brazil, and in other coffee producing countries. We examined the potential for an agroforestry system with the native species, macauba ( Acrocomia aculeata ), to mitigate impacts on coffee production by reducing maximal air temperature and photosynthetic active radiation. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of an agroforestry system with macauba on productivity, microclimatic characteristics and soil physical quality on a coffee plantation in the Atlantic Rainforest biome, in Southern Brazil. We measured soil attributes (moisture, temperature, and physical properties), microclimate conditions (air temperature, photosynthetic active radiation) and coffee production parameters (productivity and yield). Macauba palm trees were planted at different planting densities on the rows and distances from the coffee rows. Planting density of macauba and their distance from the coffee rows affected soil thermal-water regime. Compared with the traditional unshaded sole coffee planting, the intercropped cultivation provided more coffee yield on both macauba density planting and distance evaluated. On the other hand, coffee productivity was increased by agroforestry systems just for 4.2?m distance between palm trees and coffee rows. Planting density of macaubas did not affect coffee yield and productivity. Best coffee harvest in agroforestry systems with macauba was related to higher soil moisture at the depth of 20-40 cm, higher photosynthetic active radiation, and maximum air temperatures lower than 30C. Agroforestry with coffee and macauba trees can be an adaptation strategy under future climatic variability and change related to high temperatures and low rainfall.
Agroforestry, climate change, mitigation, soil, water
Moreira, S. L. S., Pires, C. V., Marcatti, G. E.
Reports find potentially dangerous levels of diacetyl and other chemicals at coffee roasters
This article recounts findings from the CDC in which coffee roasting facilities are shown to have high levels of diacetyl, which is associated with lung disease.
Case studies: impact of fair trade in various regions
This page shows benefits attributed to Fair Trade certified coffee co-operatives in various regions across the coffee growing world.
Roasting, sourcing, fair trade, certification, case study
Intercropping of coffee with the palm tree, macuba, can mitigate climate change effects
This team of authors conducted an in-depth study in Brazil to examine the effects of intercropping coffee with the macuba palm tree at two different densities of palm, high and low. Using sophisticated technology, they were able to determine key changes in soil moisture and air temperature, as well as differences in the crop yields of the coffee plants. Plants about four meters from the macuba trees had best results, and the shade, air temperature control, and moisture levels proved good enough to boost the production efficiency of these coffee trees. Additionally, the authors note that the palm produces fruit at a different point in the year than coffee, and it can be used as biofuel or as a food crop; economic gains for the farmer need further study. Readers interested in climate change, shade coffee systems, and polyculture coffee systems will find this particularly useful.
Moreira, S. L., Pires, C. V., Marcatti, G. E., Santos, R. H., Imbuzeiro, H. M., Fernandes, R. B.
The race to develop coffee that can survive climate change
What has driven tens of thousands of Salvadorans to leave home, many for the U.S.? El Salvador's coffee beans suffered a devastating disease five years ago, and now face an even greater existential threat: climate change. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports on how researchers there are trying to develop a plant that can adapt to warming global temperatures.
climate change, farming
de Sam Lazaro, F.
Exploring adaptation strategies of coffee production to climate change using a process-based model
The response of coffee ( Coffea arabica L.) agronomical performance to changes in climate and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO 2 ]) is uncertain. Improving our understanding of potential responses of the coffee plant to these changes while taking into consideration agricultural management is required for identifying best-bet adaptation strategies. A mechanistic crop modelling approach enables the inclusion of a wide range of prior knowledge and an evaluation of assumptions. We adapt a model by connecting it to spatially variable soil and climate data, by which we are able to calculate yield of rain-fed coffee on a daily time-step. The model takes account of variation in microclimate and water use as influenced by shade trees. The approach is exemplified at two East African sites with distinctly different climates (Mt. Elgon, Uganda, and Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania) using a global sensitivity analysis for evaluation of model behavior and prior parameter uncertainty assessment. We use the climate scenario driven by the Hadley Global Environment Model 2-Earth System representative for the year 2050 to discuss potential responses of the coffee plant to interactions of elevated [CO 2 ], temperature, and water availability. We subsequently explore the potential for adaptation to this scenario through shade management. The results indicate that under current climatic conditions optimal shade cover at low elevations (1000?m.a.s.l.) is 50%, provided soil water storage capacity is sufficient, enabling a 13.5% increase in coffee yield compared to unshaded systems. Coffee plants are expected to be severely impacted (ranging from 18% to 32% coffee yield reductions) at low elevations by increased temperature (+2.5?�C) and drought stress when no elevated [CO 2 ] is assumed. Water competition between coffee and shade trees are projected to be a severe limitation in the future, requiring careful selection of appropriate shade tree species or the adoption of other technologies like conservation measures or irrigation. The [CO 2 ]-fertilization effect could potentially mitigate the negative effect of temperature increase and drought stress up to 13�21% depending on site conditions and will increase yield at higher altitudes. High uncertainty remains regarding impacts of climate change on flowering. The presented model allows for estimating the optimal shade level along environmental gradients now and in the future. Overall, it shows that shade proves to be an important adaptation strategy, but this requires improved understanding regarding site-specific management and selection of tree species. Moreover, we do not yet include climate change uncertainty.
Climate change, adaptation, agroforestry
Eric Rahn, E, Vaast P., Laderach, P.
Rainforest Alliance impact reports
Webpage dedicated to first and third-party publications relevant to climate change, deforestation, and measuring impact from Rainforest Alliance.