Coffee and the environment

Earlier this year, the news of the “discovery” of a caffeine-free species of coffee from the Cameroon created a bit of a stir. This species was actually first collected in 1983, but remained unstudied and not described to science until…

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Revised on March 23, 2014

In May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its decision to ban any residue of the pesticide carbofuran on food. The rule becomes effective December 31, 2009. Carbofuran (sold under the name Furadan) causes neurological damage in humans, is…

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Revised on October 30, 2013

The theme this year for Blog Action Day is climate change, and it is an extremely relevant topic for coffee. More people rely on agriculture for a living than any other occupation, with millions of them being small coffee growers….

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Revised on July 8, 2014

The water footprint of coffee

by on September 21, 2009

The water footprint of coffee and tea consumption in the Netherlands. 2007. Chapagain, A.K., and A. Y. Hoekstra. Ecological Economics 64:109-118. This is not a newly published paper, but I found it well worth summarizing here. “Footprint” evaluations — ecological,…

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Revised on March 23, 2014

Climate change will likely alter the distribution of the world’s worst coffee pest, a minute beetle called the coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei.

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Revised on September 15, 2011

Last spring I posted about a lecture I attended at the SCAA conference on coffee and climate change. I focused on the climate module that Rainforest Alliance is adding to its certification. Part of this initiative was to create a…

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Revised on March 23, 2014

At the Specialty Coffee Association of America expo, we attended a lecture on climate change and coffee. Several speakers discussed this topic, but I’ll focus on the climate module that Rainforest Alliance is adding to its certification. This was announced…

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Revised on December 5, 2010

Last month, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters announced a request for proposals for four $200,000 grants to organizations working on climate change. The grants will be awarded in each of four categories: transportation-related emissions, threats to coffee-growing communities, building political will,…

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Revised on September 6, 2013

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will award four grants of $200,000 each to organizations with ideas to combat climate change in four core areas: transportation-related emissions (including GMCR’s product shipping), threats to coffee-growing communities (enormous, given that climate change is already…

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Revised on July 8, 2014

The coffee berry borer, or broca (Hypothenemus hampei) is the most serious insect pest of coffee. It is now developing resistance to pesticides.

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Revised on March 23, 2014

Rainforest Alliance will be adding a carbon module to their certification for coffee farms (presumably other crops they certify). They are also looking for further incentives to encourage farmers to plant more trees, including developing a system that would allow coffee companies to buy carbon from farmers along with their coffee beans.

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Revised on August 14, 2011

Today is International Day for Biological Diversity and the theme for this year is Biodiversity and Agriculture. The sponsor is the Convention on Biological Diversity, an international treaty initiated at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This year’s…

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Revised on March 23, 2014

Another one of the Big Four multinational roasters is jumping on the green bandwagon. Sara Lee’s foodservice division is introducing its “Good Origin” line in the U.S. This line of six coffees will UTZ Certified (formerly Utz Kapeh). Sara Lee…

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Revised on March 23, 2014

In my post, “Why certifying shade coffee is so complex,” I ended with a comment regarding the upside-down nature of shade (or organic) certification. That is, the burden of certification costs are on the producers who are doing the right…

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Revised on March 23, 2014

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a post discussing a World Wildlife Fund report revealing that robusta coffee was being illegally grown in southern Sumatra, with most being purchased by large coffee producers such as Kraft and Nestlé (press release…

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Revised on March 23, 2014