What is World Coffee Research, and why does ecogrounds invest half a penny of every pound we buy into this non-profit? WCR’s mission is to “grow, protect, and enhance supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it.”
The reality is the future of coffee agriculture is uncertain, at risk even. The good news (if you happen to roast and sell coffee) is that the demand for specialty quality coffee is increasing rapidly. Yay! The bad news is that changing weather patterns, increased temperatures, and new disease and insect prevalence make quality coffee is harder to grow. If nothing is done, the land suitable for growing quality coffee it expected to reduce by half. This projected decline in supply won’t be able to meet the doubling demand.
World Coffee Research is addressing this industry wide predicament with molecular breeding. This sounds a little Frankensteiny, but it’s just a term for cross breeding different coffee varietals and inspecting the new plants’ DNA for desirable traits, like drought tolerance and yield. There’s no genetic modification involved, and much of the research is conducted on coffee farms in 21 countries. Molecular breeding speeds up the time it takes to match farmers with viable hybrids to meet their rapidly changing conditions.
Economic sustainability matters. Twenty-five million people depend on coffee agriculture as a primary source of income, and if coffee isn’t profitable, farmers won’t grow it. As a coffee roaster, our future is intricately connected to the success of coffee farmers. That’s why we are proud to be a founding member of World Coffee Research. Our green coffee buyer also serves on the board of directors.
ecogrounds invests in solving problems. You can help by drinking more ecogrounds coffee.