Falcon and World Coffee Research
In 2018, Falcon provided $10,000 in funding to World Coffee Research, the collaborative, global, research nonprofit that conducts advanced agricultural Research & Development for coffee. This investment was part of an annual commitment that includes administering WCR’s “Checkoff Program,” which allows roasters and coffee traders of all sizes to contribute to this industry-wide, collaborative effort.
These contributions have helped advance three key research and development programs that are transforming the coffee sector. The programs aim to boost productivity across the industry, be profitable for coffee farmers and ensure coffee production is environmentally sustainable.
Breeding climate smart coffee varieties.
Most of the coffee trees grown around the world are adapted to a relatively narrow range of environmental and climate conditions. As many coffee growing regions are already under threat from climate change, it is essential to develop new varieties. Falcon’s support of WCR’s breeding program is changing that. There are currently 75 new, non-GMO varieties in development and the early performance data has been impressive. Some of the new varieties are showing signs of performing twice as well as traditional varieties. Planting a new variety that matures in half the time (two years vs. four years), increases yields by up to 50% and they have a better tolerance to diseases and pests. This means producers receive more income from the land they farm.
The International Multilocation Variety Trials, the first ever trial of its kind.
It takes time to create new varieties and make them available to farmers. While that work unfolds, World Coffee Research is partnering with 28 countries on a major global trial to evaluate which existing varieties perform best in which environments, and to accelerate access to the best performers for farmers. A portion of Falcon’s contribution to WCR supports this groundbreaking trial. In 2018, four new countries established the trial, Australia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Puerto Rico. A total of 6 new test plots were installed, bringing the total to 28 plots in 22 countries. In 2018, the first evaluations were performed from four trial sites with mature plants.
Taking it to the farmer with the Global Coffee Monitoring Program. Currently, coffee farmers don’t have sufficient data about how the interaction between variety, environmental conditions and agronomic approach impact profitability. Getting this data is key to helping producers select the best varieties for their local conditions and to inform them how best to care for their plants in order to insure the greatest profit and environmental sustainability. In 2018, Falcon’s contribution supported the installation of over 130 new on-farm technical trials in 10 countries. In 2019, the trial will expand to 20 countries, and will include 250 new farmers.
We are proud to partner with an organisation who have made it their mission to improve the coffee sector’s social and environmental sustainability. We are looking forward to further collaboration in 2019!
Photos and information provided by World Coffee Research