In the hustle and bustle of sourcing, roasting, brewing, sharing and discussing the coffees we love, we don’t often get the chance to talk about the serious issues that threaten the future of the coffee industry.
A changing climate, plant diseases and pests, decreasing yields, less viable land, and increasing costs of production, along with a lack of education and resources, are all threats to the future of coffee. If left unaddressed, this would ultimately result in less coffee, which would adversely impact all the people in coffee-producing countries whose livelihoods depend on the health of those little beans. It would also mean less coffee to drink for everyone everywhere, and dramatically increased prices for a bag of beans or our daily cup.
The future of coffee does not have to be all doom and gloom, though, but it does require that practical steps be taken now to address these issues. We can’t solve them on our own, but collectively we may be able to. That is why we at Market Lane are passionate – and very vocal! – supporters of an organisation called World Coffee Research, and the crucial, amazing work they’re doing to address these threats to the coffee supply chain, through collaborative scientific research and development.
World Coffee Research’s mission is to grow, protect and enhance supplies of quality coffee, while improving the livelihoods of the families that produce it. It’s the only global organisation taking a coordinated, collaborative and worldwide approach to scientific research into coffee. Their goal is to discover a toolbox of coffee varieties, genetic resources, and technologies, and to openly share these with producing countries, in order to create a more sustainable future for coffee.
Together with its partners, World Coffee Research is using advanced and applied research to prepare the next generation of coffee varieties, which will be high yielding, high quality, and resilient. They are also creating new technologies and market opportunities to help farmers become more sustainable, profitable and secure, especially in the face of real threats like climate change. World Coffee Research is also conducting research to drive profitable agricultural practices, minimise environmental impact, and maximise farmer yield and income.
As everyone knows, Market Lane cares very, very deeply about coffee! We’re extremely passionate about supporting and sustaining our international community and industry. As World Coffee Research relies on funding from the global industry, we see it as vitally important to offer our support. That’s why we’ve joined World Coffee Research’s Check-Off Program, and we’ve committed to donating $0.01 for every kilo of coffee we buy.
You can read all about World Coffee Research and the crucial work they do on their website, and learn more about the Check-Off Program here. We also highly recommend this short video by The Washington Post; it gives a great overview of the issues the global coffee industry faces and the work that needs to be done to address them.
All images courtesy World Coffee Research.