Gourmet guide gives a glimpse of the future of specialty coffee production

16 May, 2011 by (comments)

A new guide book to producing specialty coffee, and business models that will help improving coffee bean quality and boost farmers’ incomes, is due to be published imminently by the International Plant Nutrition Institute’s Southeast Asia Program. Click the cover image below to view chapter summaries and author profiles:

While coffee is one of the most important commodities in world trade, the majority of the high quality, gourmet beans are grown by smallholder farmers in developing countries, for niche markets in the developed world. Many of these farmers are vulnerable to risks including pest and disease outbreaks in their coffee crops, extreme weather, and poorly integrated market chains.

Specialty Coffee – Managing Quality, takes a closer look at ways to share, manage and reduce this vulnerability in order to produce the highest quality coffee beans. It features a series of contributions from CIAT and other international scientists, as well as coffee industry members, and focuses on ways to improve each link in the value chain, encouraging the closer collaboration of growers, roasters, importers, exporters and agronomists.

This includes sharing not just knowledge and expertise, but also making scientific and financial investments within the chain as a whole.

“The logic is simple,” explained CIAT scientist and coffee expert Peter Läderach, who is also one of the book’s editors and lead authors. “While small scale coffee farmers often face a disproportionate risk in producing high quality coffee, all actors in the coffee value chain have a vested interest both in helping small farmers maintain and improve the quality of their beans, and safeguarding that quality as the beans travel through the value chain.

“By actively collaborating and sharing their expertise, everyone in the chain can benefit,” he continued. “It also gives you a glimpse of how value chains for other high-value crops can be improved, with an emphasis on sharing knowledge, sharing the risks and, ultimately, sharing the benefits.”

The new guide book, which is expected to be published in the second half of 2011,  is being put together by Thomas Oberthür, director of IPNI Southeast Asia, Peter Läderach, and expert in perennial crops, Professor Jürgen Pohlan. It is co-edited by former CIAT program manager James Cock. Click to see the flyer, and to register for updates.

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Filed Under: Latin America and the Caribbean, Regions