World Coffee Research: Investing in the Future of Coffee

It is no secret that most people start their day with coffee, around 2 billion cups are consumed every day around the globe. While the world is drinking more coffee than ever the supply of coffee is in jeopardy. Factors like climate change, plant disease, and increasing consumer demand are threatening to affect how much coffee is grown, harvested, and exported from producing countries. With current conditions it is estimated that there will be a 50% reduction in the land area suitable for growing Arabica coffee by the year 2050.

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In response to these challenges, the non-profit organization World Coffee Research (WCR) was founded in 2011 to address how the coffee industry can support more sustainable farming solutions to ensure access to high-quality coffee in the future. At the time coffee was one of the few commodities that had limited research and development programs.

Today, through strategic research initiatives, World Coffee Research is working directly with producers and scientists in a number of countries to address some of the biggest threats to global coffee supplies. Much of the research is focused on mapping the genetic makeup of coffee plants and using that information to breed new varieties that produce more high quality coffee and are disease resistant. Currently WCR is working on replicating 35 coffee plant varieties in 19 different countries and measuring the coffee output, disease resistance, drought tolerance and finally, quality. Providing coffee farmers with information on the best plants to use in their region could potentially increase their annual coffee production by 10-15%.

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These important research initiatives are funded by donations from the coffee industry and ecoGrounds is proud to be a participant in the check-off program that donates half a cent from every pound of coffee we buy to World Coffee Research. Our commitment to sustainable coffee begins with how we source and this is just one more way that we have a larger global impact with every cup of coffee that is served in our cafes.

“I’m proud to be one of the founding members of World Coffee Research. Actively working towards ensuring the sustainability of future coffee supplies and the livelihoods of people that earn their living through growing coffee is one of the most rewarding things I have ever been involved with.” – Shawn Hamilton, ecoGrounds Coffee Buyer and Master Roaster.

For more information on World Coffee Research and their research initiatives visit http://www.worldcoffeeresearch.org/

Photos courtesy of World Coffee Research.