Two weeks ago, I suggested that the coffee business is broken and that we need to take extraordinary measures to fix it: create alternative pricing mechanisms, build a permanent institution to foster cross-sector collaboration and send explorers to the frontiers of coffee to search for new insights. We have our work cut out for us, […]
The industry-led effort formerly known as GCQRI (the Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative) announced yesterday that it has been reborn as WCR (World Coffee Research) and will begin research in select origins this month in service of its mission: To grow the Arabica coffee supply chain in a sustainable way through collaborative agricultural research and […]
Today I grab the third rail of coffee quality: the R word. After nearly eight years of working for CRS on high-value Arabica coffee in Central America, I have relocated to Ecuador to direct the Borderlands Coffee Project, which will be helping to reactivate a Robusta coffee culture in decline in the Amazon. We are […]
The Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative’s (GCQRI) Research Planning committee met in Nicaragua back in April to sketch out a preliminary five-year strategic research plan. The meeting produced two research agendas — one for coffee supply and another for coffee quality. On the supply side, there are two places where GCQRI and the international development […]
SCAA 2011 preview – the view from the coffeelands.
Last week I made the not-so-bold prediction that 2011 will be The Year of the GCQRI. Today I consider whether that is an entirely good thing.
2011 will be the Year of the GCQRI.
The innovations that have potential to boost quality usually require up-front investment and involve some kind of risk. Unfortunately, most of that risk usally falls squarely on the shoulders of the people least able to bear it — smallholder farmers. We are supporting a pilot in Nicaragua that is heavy on quality-driven innovation and light on risk to farmers.
Several dozen of the most influential and quality-obsessed people in the coffee industry are gathered this week in College Station, Texas, for the Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative (GCQRI) Symposium — the first step in launching a massive, five-year collaborative research project involving industry, bilateral donor agencies and research institutes and designed to increase the availability of high-quality coffee. Here are some links to very good real-time coverage of the event from people who are participating.