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Participatory development of common certification codes and practices for small coffee growing farms

Sustainable coffee is going through a rapid transformation from production for niche markets to a fully recognized agribusiness production system that serves both mainstream and specialty coffee markets. Current trends suggest that certified coffee is not only here to stay, but that conformity with one standard or another will soon become a requirement for market entry. In fact, many coffee growers in Nicaragua are already using one or more certification programmes to gain access to various coffee markets. The article concludes that certified coffee farmers will have to make significant on-farm investments and management changes to meet multiple certification requirements, while at the same time meeting the administrative and monitoring requirements associated with multiple certification programmes. (CIAT, 20/01/2015)


The influence and implications of climate change on coffee berry borer and coffee production in East Africa

Scientists from icipe used the CLIMEX model to relate present-day insect distributions to current climate and to project the fitted climatic envelopes under two future  climate scenarios [A2A (Intensive economic growth but regional and very heterogeneous development) and B2B (Diverse and local solutions to development, less  intensive with lower population growth)]. In both scenarios, the situation with the coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is forecasted to worsen in the current Coffea arabica producing areas of Ethiopia, the Ugandan part of the Lake Victoria and Mt Elgon regions, Mt Kenya and the Kenyan side of Mt Elgon, and  most of Rwanda and Burundi. and    (icipe 05/08/2013 and PLoS ONE 6(9): e24528, 14/09/2011)  


Prices of raw materials, budgetary earnings and economic growth: A case study of Côte d’Ivoire

(First Prize, ‘Young Professionals in Science’ competition)Côte d’Ivoire contributes to global trade through a limited range of products including cocoa, coffee, timber and oil. According to statistics on external trade, these few products have accounted for more than half of the value of exports since the attainment of independence. Like the majority of Sub-Saharan African countries, Côte d’Ivoire is a ‘price taker’. For this reason, it does not wield any control over prices of its exports or imports. Furthermore, its exports are quoted in foreign currency and it has no control over the exchange rate, which affects the export earnings quoted in national currency. It therefore seems that Côte d’Ivoire’s dependence on raw materials makes the country vulnerable. This study evaluates the impact of the fluctuation of international prices of raw material on the variability of the gross domestic product (GDP) in Côte d’Ivoire. The specific objective was to analyse the Ivorian export structure in order to highlight the importance of raw materials in export earnings; to analyse the coffee and cocoa sectors, the oil sector and stakeholders; to evaluate the influence of price fluctuations on revenue from entry-point taxation; to highlight the impact of the variation of this revenue on Ivorian economic growth. Results illustrate the need for the continuation of efforts aimed at diversifying the economy, and encouraging the setting up of an observatory, in order to predict and weather the various shocks.Article taken from the 2011 CTA/FARA publication ‘Agricultural Innovations for Sustainable Development’ Volume 3, Issue 2.


Kilimanjaro and Oromia coffee value chain case studies: Producer benefits from fair trade and free market channels

Coles, C. 2011. Kilimanjaro and Oromia Coffee Value Chain Case Studies: Producer Benefits from Fair Trade and Free Market Channels. NCCR North-South Dialogue, 34. Bern, Switzerland: NCCR North-South.As part of a transversal research project exploring coffee value chains in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, this study conducted by Christopher Coles from the NCCR North-South (National Centre of Competence in Research – North-South Research Partnership for Sustainable Development) in Bern, Switzerland, traced Fair Trade and open market coffee value chains in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania and in the Jimma Region, Ethiopia. Its objective is to identify factors that affect how intended Fair Trade benefits can be attenuated by political and social institutions at different levels in their translation into the everyday realities for coffee farmers. It compares the governance frameworks and benefit distribution among actors in both chains and makes insightful recommendations for policy changes in order to maximise returns for smallholder farmers.


Light roasted coffee found to contain higher amount of antioxidants

In his research titled Influence of Roasting on the Phenolic Content and Antioxidant Activity of the Philippine Coffee, Dr. Ruel M. Mojica (of Cavite State University, Philippines) found that degrees of roasting have significant effects on the antioxidant activity of both Coffea robusta and C. liberica samples. Findings here show that light roasted coffee gives the highest phenolic content and antioxidant activity among coffee samples roasted to varying degrees. In his report, roasted beans generally contain less polyphenols than green beans (as chlorogenic acid present in green coffee is degraded upon roasting). The research found that "considerable increase" in phenolic content occurred in light roast samples and began to decrease in medium roast to very dark roast samples (as was the antioxidant activities with an increase in the degree of roast).In a time of changing eating habits, food products containing antioxidants are popular as their health benefits are scientifically proven.This research by Dr. Mojica is featured in the BAR Chronicle (, the official monthly publication of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) of the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines.


Protecting ‘single-origin coffee’ within the global coffee market: The role of geographical indications and trademarks

Over the past decade, coffee producers have been struggling with the world market’s low and unstable coffee prices. Some coffee producing countries try to overcome this crisis by moving from pure commodity exports to higher-price exports of niche market quality products, like “single-origin coffee”, protected by intellectual property tools. Such protection can take the form of trademarks or geographical indications. At present within the single-origin coffee sector, a trend to use the latter form can be observed. For example, “Café de Colombia” was registered as a Protected Geographical Indication under Council Regulation (EC) No 510/2006. Another recent example is the Ethiopian Fine Coffee Trademarking and Licensing Initiative. In order to protect its coffee industry, the Ethiopian government has filed trademark applications for the country’s most valuable brands in over 30 countries, including all major coffee markets. This article suggests that both concepts offer mixed blessings. The particularities of the global coffee market might in some cases be better accommodated by a trademark scheme whilst in other cases by a geographical indication system. However, in order to ensure the individual farmer benefits from the higher price paid for single-origin coffee on the world coffee market, further steps have to be taken.Author: L. Schussler (2009), Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy 10(1): 149-185


Diversification economies and specialisation efficiencies in a mixed food and coffee smallholder farming system in Papua New Guinea

Smallholder farming systems in Papua New Guinea are characterized by an integrated set of cash cropping and subsistence food cropping activities. In the Highlands provinces, the subsistence food crop subsystem is dominated by sweet potato production. Coffee dominates the cash cropping subsystem, but a limited number of food crops are also grown for cash sale. The dynamics between subsystems can influence the scope for complementarity between, and technical efficiency of their operations, especially in light of the seasonality of demand for household labour and management inputs within the farming system. Farm survey data collected in the Benabena district of the Eastern Highlands Province were used to derive technical efficiency indices for each household. A stochastic input distance function approach is used to establish whether diversification economies exist and whether specialization in coffee, subsistence food or cash food production influences the technical efficiency on the sampled farms. Diversification economies are weakly evident between subsistence food production and both coffee and cash food production, but diseconomies of diversification are discerned between coffee and cash food production. Significant technical efficiency gains are made from diversification among broad cropping enterprises (subsystems). From abstract Elsevier Science Journal.


Harvesting, processing and treatment of effluent

Various steps involved in and methods used for harvesting of coffee berries, processing of parchment coffee, processing of cherry coffee, storage, and treatment of wastewater are discussed. These include: picking berries at the right stage, preparation of parchment coffee (pulping, demucilaging and washing, drying, and storage of coffee beans), preparation of cherry coffee (drying), bagging and storage of parchment coffee and of cherry coffee, and treatment methods for wastewater produced in the coffee pulp house. Indian Coffee (India), v. 62(11) p. 22-23, 25-27, 29


Stimulation of better quality coffee and effective marketing

The gourmet coffee project: adding value to green coffee. 1. Summary marketing and technology marketing reports - USA, Japan, Europe. 2. Country reports, Brazil, Burundi, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Uganda In 1997, the Gourmet Coffee Project was launched by the International Coffee Organization (ICO), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) to increase the earnings of coffee producing countries by stimulating the production of better quality coffee and effective marketing. A large number of new methods of producing, processing and marketing gourmet coffee was tested in each of the participating countries: Brazil, Burundi, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea and Uganda. Marketing studies of the demand for gourmet coffee were carried out for the USA, Japan, southern Europe, and northern Europe. A number of "lessons learned" and "do nots" was listed. As part of the project, the first world-wide coffee auction on the Internet was organized. Other subjects included: (1) market segmentation; (2) quality as it relates to production; (3) a low-cost solar-drier called "Haus Draia" to solve the problem of chemical taste; (4) country reports of project activities; and (5) principles and suggestions for marketing gourmet coffee.


Evaluation of moisture meters employed in coffee industry

The performance of 2 recently introduced digital moisture meters (Sinar moisture analyser and Digital moisture meter) was compared with that of the Kappa moisture meter (KMM). In India, the KMM has been used for many years for measuring moisture content of clean coffee samples, which are required to be in the 10-11% range. The meter works on the principle of dielectric constant and requires a sample size of 675 g. The new digital moisture meters require samples of 60 to 350 g of clean coffee. The new meters showed good reliability and consistency of results. The non-significant differences in the moisture content values were attributed to the differences in sample size. Coffee drying is an important post-harvest operation in coffee processing at estate level intended to bring down the moisture content of the harvested cherries/wet parchment to a level which will not be detrimental to subsequent storage. From authors' summary. Journal of Plantation Crops (India), v. 29(3) p. 27-29


Drying coffee increases internal rate of return

A high-capacity flatbed dryer adapted in Vietnam using rice hull for fuel was modified for Philippine conditions. The original technology was introduced in the Philippines in the late 1970s but was not widely adopted as a result of socio-economic constraints. Vietnam's experience was opposite to that of the Philippines and a re-introduction seemed called for. The modified design was named PhilRice-UAF (PRUAF) flatbed dryer. A total of 113 units of this PRUAF dryer were assembled and are now operational in the different regions in the country. Private entrepreneurs, local government units and co-operatives financed the construction of the dryers. The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) provided technical assistance during the installation of the dryer. The operators were also trained on the proper operation of the dryer. The dryer was found to have lower drying cost compared to existing dryers. This was mainly due to the use of rice hull as fuel, low labour requirement and cost, low repair/maintenance cost, and higher drying capacity compared to similarly priced dryers. The dryers are successfully used by commercial adopters. Aside from rice it is also used to dry maize, soya bean, coffee and banana chips. It is estimated that drying coffee and maize yields an internal rate of return of 20.53%. From authors' summary. Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa and Latin America (Japan) v. 32(3) p. 60-66


Pacific: Evaluation of the organoleptic quality of arabica coffee beans

In Papua New Guinea, a study was conducted to evaluate the organoleptic quality of arabica coffee beans when: pulping was delayed for up to 6 days after harvest; the cherries were soaked in water, compared to berries not soaked, before pulping; and, washed parchment was soaked in water and compared to parchment which was not soaked. Green bean coffee produced from cherries pulped on the same day of harvest and parchment which was soaked was rated the best in terms of the final raw bean (RaB), roasted bean (RoB) and cup taste (CT) qualities. The quality of the green bean progressively deteriorated each day the cherries were not pulped from the day of harvest. Cherries pulped on the 4th day after harvest produced green beans that were rated low and their quality differed significantly from those produced from cherries pulped on the day of harvest. Soaking the cherries prior to pulping had an adverse effect on the final quality of the green beans produced for export, caused by the aqueous environment, and differed significantly in their total scores for the RaB, RoB and CT quality. Soaked parchment produced superior quality coffee compared to unsoaked parchment and differed significantly in the total scores for the RaB, RoB and CT qualities. The results confirmed that 2-stage fermentation of arabica coffee when "wet processed" produces a superior quality of coffee. From author's summary. ACIAR Proceedings Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (Australia), no. 100, p. 223-235


Africa: Coffee wood suitable for high-value end uses

The structure and technological properties of the wood of Coffea arabica were determined, using wood obtained from an abandoned plantation in Sao TomeIsland. It was found that the coffee wood has very good characteristics, both in aesthetic (veining and texture) and technological (density, dimensional stability, hardness) terms. It is concluded that coffee wood is suitable for high-value end uses, such as craft work, parquet flooring and cabinet-making. The main constraint is the small dimension of the raw material, but this may be partially solved with modern milling techniques. From authors' summary. Journal of Agriculture and Environment for International Development (Italy), 2000, v. 94(1) p. 35-42


Opportunities and constraints of coffee by-product utilization

Methods of coffee waste management are outlined to create awareness of the opportunities and constraints associated with the maximization of coffee by-product utilization and the reduction of environmental pollution. The application of environmentally-sound disposal methods requires an understanding of the range of waste utilization, treatment and recycling options. The by-products of coffee processing are mainly coffee pulp, processing effluent, parchment husks and coffee husks. The main alternative uses of coffee by-products include the production of soil conditioner, fertilizer, mulch, animal feed, alcohol, biogas, caffeine, sugar, pectines, charcoal, heat energy, wax and acids. Kenya Coffee (Kenya), v. 61(716) p. 2237-2245


Organic manure from coffee husks

An experiment was conducted to study the effect of 4 composting techniques on the recovery and nutritive quality of organic manure prepared from 3 different plantation wastes: coir pith, areca waste and coffee husk. The temperature during the experiment was 21.3-31.1°C. The following composting techniques were investigated: anaerobic, aerobic, microbial (Pleurotus sajor-caju addition), and a chemical process (urea + rock phosphate addition). Recovery percentage was highest in the case of coffee husk followed by areca waste and coir pith. The highest recovery percentage was recorded with the chemical technique followed by the anaerobic, aerobic and microbial techniques. The C/N ratio was least in areca waste (7.82) and with the aerobic method (8.73). The mineral content (N, P, K, Ca and Mg) of final compost was higher than that of the base material. Composting reduced the pith/fibre ratio of coir pith to 3.3 from the initial value of 7.3. The microbial load was higher in the areca and coffee husk composts than their base materials. The cost of preparation of organic manure was lowest for chemical treatment, followed by anaerobic composting. Journal of Plantation Crops (India), v. 26(2) p. 120-126


Chicory: the only permissible admixture to coffee

Chicory ( Cichorium intybus) root is the only permissible admixture to coffee. It increases bulk, improves keeping quality and imparts special flavour and taste. The major production factors to boost yield of chicory are improved varieties, sowing time, fertilizer and irrigation management and other improved practices. Judicious use of fertilizer and water are crucial for optimizing the growth of chicory crops. After 3 years of experimentation in Gujarat, India, the first week of Nov. was found to be the most suitable time for sowing, with seed rate varying from 1.5 kg/ha with line sowing to 2.0 kg/ha with broadcasting. The crop matured 150 days after sowing. Information on various cultivation techniques is provided. Indian Farming (India), v. 48(10) p. 18, 23, 27


Preservation of coffee quality at the curing works, during storage and transport

Measures to be adopted at various stages of coffee bean processing, storage and transportation, so as to obtain a good-quality final product, are presented. The curing stage in the processing house includes receiving coffee beans from the growers, drying to the required standard, milling, grading by size, shape and density, sorting by colour, bulking, packing, storing, and transport. Moisture content of coffee beans should not be more than 11.50% for satisfactory storage to minimize mould growth and enzymic activity. Odour-free jute bags should be used for packing raw coffee and new hydrocarbon-free bags for packing cured coffee. Hygienic conditions to be maintained in the curing works, prophylactic treatment to be carried out in coffee go-downs to eradicate storage pests, control measures to be adopted against rodents and insects, and transportation of coffee are discussed in detail. Indian Coffee (India), v. 63(3) p. 22-25


Storage-related quality aspects of coffee processing

A number of storage-related quality aspects of coffee processing are discussed. Subjects include: (1) the quality of coffee ( Coffea arabica) beans stored as dry cherry at different levels of humidity; (2) identification of toxigenic Aspergillus species associated with stored coffee beans; (3) methodologies for the extraction of chlorogenic acids, trigonelline and caffeine from green and roasted coffee; (4) comparing systems of drying coffee using a water/air heat exchanger, eucalyptus firewood and liquified petroleum gas (LPG); (5) chemical quality analysis of roasted coffee of 2 co-operatives from southern Minas Gerais, Brazil; (6) the effects of priming seed coffee on germination and vigour; (7) changes in the quality of prepared coffee beans of natural, pulped and washed coffee, stored under controlled-atmosphere or natural conditions; and (8) the specific mass and porosity of 5 varieties of parched coffee. Revista Brasileira de Armazenamento (Brazil), v. 26(1), (suppl. 3)


Pesticide taxation could be an effective means to reduce pesticide overuse in developing countries

The estimation of the elasticity of pesticide demand in Costa Rica is examined, based on farm-level panel data. Two different models of dual profit functions were used in the estimation process: (1) a single equation panel model; and (2) a system of seemingly unrelated regressions. The data for the estimation were collected in a recall survey covering 3 consecutive years on 325 coffee farms. The single equation panel model yielded results that are consistent with economic theory while the results obtained with the system of demand equations were less conclusive. Results of this empirical research indicate that pesticide taxation could be an effective means to reduce pesticide overuse in developing countries. From authors' summary. Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture (Germany),  v. 44(2) p. 141-153