Grow, protect, and enhance supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it.
All of our projects are designed to enhance the livelihoods of the producers who are the stewards of both quality and productivity. If we lose them, we lose the game and future of the industry.
To create a toolbox of coffee varieties, genetic resources and accompanying technologies and to disseminate them strategically and collaboratively in producing countries to alleviate constraints to the supply chain of high quality coffee.
Our globe-spanning trials and projects in 21 countries are all designed to deliver:
We don't do this work alone. We collaborate with the best minds in coffee science, wherever they are. We have partnered with researchers from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), one of world-leading food security research organizations; CIRAD, a French academic institute that has made critical contributions to coffee research; and Kew Gardens, one of the world's premier botanical research centers, among many others.
Most of our research is done in the places where coffee is grown. We partner with local research institutions, coffee organizations, governments, and NGOs who can ensure maximum impact. We believe its essential to build the human and institutional capacity in these countries, and are working to foster the next generation of coffee scientists and expand the network of coffee research institutions in producing countries through collaborative research and training.
Our research is “precompetitive” and for the benefit of the entire coffee industry. As often as possible, scholarly works resulting from our research are published in open-access journals.
Long is the Chief Executive Officer of World Coffee Research, the world’s first
global, collaborative agricultural R&D organization for coffee. A plant breeder by training, Long brings 25 years of experience in
international agricultural research with a focus on smallholders, and deep
expertise on genetic resources policy. Prior to joining WCR, Long served as the
director of the Office of Agricultural Research and Policy at the U.S. Agency
for International Development (USAID), where she managed a global program
portfolio of >$140 million per year. Long has substantial experience convening diverse stakeholders —
from industry, national governments, CGIAR international agricultural
research centers, university scientists, and farmers—to formulate a shared crop research agenda to improve productivity among smallholder farmers. Her work has spanned
low- and middle-income countries in diverse geographies including Central
America, West Africa, East and Southern Africa, and South Asia. She has served on various multi-donor working
groups, including as Chair of the Agricultural Research Working Group of the
Global Donor Platform on Rural Development based in Bonn, Germany. She received her PhD in plant genetics from
Founder, President of WCR Europe
Timothy Schilling is the founder of World Coffee Research, the world’s first global, collaborative agricultural R&D organization for coffee. A scientist and development expert, Dr. Schilling was the first to bring widespread attention in the coffee industry to the fact that coffee is an orphan crop: grown in poor countries, consumed in rich countries, and researched in neither.
Dr. Schilling galvanized the world coffee industry, worth $174 billion dollars per year, to recognize the potentially disastrous vulnerabilities it faced due to the lack of functional, global, open-source research and development programs that create new knowledge and technologies for the benefit of farmers.
World Coffee Research was thus born in 2012. The same year, when the first reports of a massive epidemic of a fungal disease called coffee leaf rust were circulating in Central America, Dr. Schilling sounded alarms and organized the first Coffee Leaf Rust Summit in Guatemala. That summit resulted in concrete actions including development bank support loans to national governments for fungicides and access to credit for farmers through guarantees from USAID. The most sustainable result, however, was the launch of World Coffee Research’s global coffee breeding program for rust resistance and climate resilience, and the establishment of a global network of trial sites to advance knowledge on coffee variety performance.
In the few short years since World Coffee Research was founded, Dr. Schilling has delivered tangible, pragmatic results to shore up the coffee industry’s goal to secure long-term sustainable supplies of high quality coffee. He has grown the nonprofit organization to encompass offices in France, the United States, and El Salvador, where WCR has also established a research farm. The organization has formed dozens of collaborative partnerships with coffee organizations, NGOs, and governments to execute applied R&D for genetic improvement and agronomic advancements for coffee.
Prior to founding World Coffee Research, Dr. Schilling led two programs to rebuild the Rwandan coffee sector after the country’s genocide. The USAID PEARL and SPREAD projects were crucial to the successful entry of Rwanda into the American and European Specialty Coffee markets. PEARL and SPREAD doubled incomes for over 100,000 small coffee producers in Rwanda and fundamentally changed the image of Rwanda in the international press. Prior to his work in coffee, Dr. Schilling led several other major international initiatives, working with universities, the U.S. Congress, USAID, and national agricultural institutes across Africa and Latin America to establish research programs to increase sorghum and millet food supplies. He holds a Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics in from North Carolina State University.
Salvador Urrutia Loucel
Latin America Director
Salvador Urrutia Loucel is the Central America Representative of World Coffee Research, providing coordination and oversight of all activities in the region. Salvador earned his degree in Agricultural Engineering with a specialization in economics at the University Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas. In his 34 years of professional work, nearly 20 years have been in the cultivation of coffee. He has worked as a technician, as general manager in a local coffee company, and at the research institution PROCAFE. From 1999 to 2004, he was the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of El Salvador, where he supported the coffee sector with economic and production-focused programs and provided support to coffee institutions in El Salvador and across Central America. He lives in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hanna is among the world’s foremost “explainers”
of coffee and coffee science. Whether she’s explaining the impact of climate
change to a room full of coffee roasters, or coffee genetics to a hedge fund
trader, or coffee brewing to her mom, the intersection of coffee and science is
her passion. She writes regularly and speaks globally about the future of
coffee and coffee agriculture. (See talks here and here and here). She is
the author of over 50 magazine articles on coffee, and of the book Left Coast Roast. She has a degree from McGill University. She is based in Portland, Oregon. Email: email@example.com
Administration & Finance Director
Siaska provides overall administrative and financial coordination for the World Coffee Research Program as well as financial planning, coordination and reporting, fund raising accountability and management, and international research contract and grant management. She works with the Board of Directors and is their liaison for financial and administrative work. She grew up in The Netherlands and is fluent in English, Dutch, Portuguese and French. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asia & Africa Director
Kraig H. Kraft is an agroecologist who has worked on rural development issues in Latin America for over 15 years. Prior to joining WCR, Kraig worked with Catholic Relief Services as their Regional Technical advisor for coffee and cacao in Latin America. Previously, Kraig worked with COSA – the Committee on Sustainability Assessment - where he led impact assessments of sustainability projects in coffee and cacao. He has served as a consultant on monitoring and evaluation in coffee and cacao projects for the International Finance Corporation (of the World Bank) and to Lutheran World Relief. Kraig is the co-author of a book on climate change and food traditions, Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail. Kraig is fluent in Spanish and has a M.S. in International Agricultural Development and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Ecology from the University of California, Davis. Kraig was always a fanatic coffee drinker but was really turned on to the variety and diversity of coffee when he started home roasting when in graduate school, purchasing green coffee from Sweet Marias. He still aspires to roast coffee someday.
Dr. George Kotch started his career as a commercial plant breeder in 1987 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics. He served in several senior positions leading breeding teams at H. M Clause as Vice President of R&D (Americas & Pacific ) and Head of Global Vegetable Seed R&D at Syngenta. There, Dr. Kotch directed of all aspects of Syngenta’s global vegetable research and development program, covering 20 crops, from strategy development to global implementation and oversaw a team of over 800 employees. Dr. Kotch left the private sector to bring his skillset to enhance the capacity of Asian and African national breeding programs focused on agricultural innovation for food security. He was the head of breeding at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, before joining the Excellence in Breeding Platform which allowed him to help modernize CGIAR and National Breeding Programs in low and medium-low income countries. Along the way, created two start-up companies and assisted as technical advisory/fundraiser for a third, and served as visiting industry scientist at both UC Davis and N.C. State, helping to build public/private partnerships.
Jean Paul Rugwiro
Rwanda Country Agronomist
Jean Paul has a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Science and an advanced diploma in Crop Production from the University of Rwanda, College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (CAVM). He has several years of very relevant experience in field data collection and in managing projects in coffee agronomy and processing with farmers and cooperatives.
Finance and Post-Award Coordinator
Jarrod has a degree in Finance from Texas A&M University and 15 years of finance and accounting experience, primarily with non-profit organizations. He is based in Texas and is very enthusiastic about helping farmers and their communities.
Julio is a research technician in charge of the supervision and control of activities at Flor Amarailla, the WCR Research Farm located in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Julio is Salvadorian and since childhood has lived in an agricultural environment. He has a bachelor degree in Food Science at Pan-American Agricultural School, Zamorano, and has a Master’s degree on Coffee Science and Economics at University of Udine, Trieste and Fondazione Ernesto Illy
Kenya Country Agronomist
Samuel has over 12 years of experience implementing projects with coffee smallholder co-operatives and large estates across all coffee growing regions in Kenya and Tanzania. He has worked in many aspects of the coffee industry, ranging from production, processing, trade and sustainability standards. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Nairobi
Corporate Partnership Manager
Alexa focuses on helping private sector companies expand their sustainability investments to include a new collaborative, multi-stakeholder tool, World Coffee Research. She is excited to engage more coffee industry partners in WCR's work, which will benefit millions of smallholder farmers in developing countries. Alexa has a range of experience in nonprofit fundraising and corporate investor relations, in both the U.S. and Europe. She has a degree from Babson College and is based in Munich, Germany. Contact: email@example.com
Peter Cecil Sinnott
Peter provides database management, oversight, and strategy to World Coffee Research. He graduated from McGill University with a focus in Remote Sensing, a field in which he invented and patented a method of agriculture monitoring. Peter previously supported the Coffee Board of India on several projects assessing specialty coffee certification for tribal farm communities. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Uganda Country Agronomist
Maureen Namugalu holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Land Use and Management from Makerere University. Maureen is the lead country agronomist for the WCR Global Coffee Monitoring Program in Uganda. She is an agronomist and soil scientist by profession, with strong agricultural production background. Maureen has worked with Café Africa Uganda in collaboration with UCDA and NaCORI for the last three years focusing on coffee agronomy, coffee extension services, and the assessment of coffee seedling survival rate of Arabica and Robusta coffee in Uganda. She established experimental research trials at the National Crop Resource Research Institute in collaboration with the University of Bonn. Maureen has also carried out independent research on soil conservation practices of coffee farming systems along a slope.
Hector Andres Santos
Hector Santos has worked in the coffee industry for over 10 years, as both a producer and technician. He is an agronomist and has a masters degree in project management from the Technological University of Honduras. He has worked with The World Food Program as a field technician, organizing basic grain producers in the region. He also lead and trained groups of coffee producers in the department of El Paraíso.
Most recently, he worked for the Hans R. Neumann Foundation as a technician of the Coffee & Climate initiative in the El Paraiso region, implementing demonstration and research plots with adaptation measures to climate change, working in close relationship with IHCAFE.
Jose Paiz has an engineering degree in forestry engineering and a specialization degree in agricultural production under controlled conditions. He comes to WCR with ten years of experience in agricultural and forestry farm management, especially in the cultivation of coffee, the use of forest plantations, and nurseries.
Business Manager Europe
Maud Nicolas joined WCR in late 2018. She provides overall administrative and financial coordination for the World Coffee Research in Europe and also assists the CEO. As WCR Europe’s Business Manager, she works closely with the Administration and Finance Director and accountant. She’s proud to join WCR and to contribute to the organization's development. She is based in Marseille, France. Contact: email@example.com.
Sub-Regional Coordinator (Central)
Elly Castro is the Country Agronomist for Nicaragua and coordinates WCR's activities in Nicaragua. Elly earned an agricultural engineering degree in agricultural education from EARTH University in Costa Rica and a master's degree in hydrology and water resources management from Acala de Henares University in Madrid, Spain. He has experience in coffee agronomy, nursery production, natural resources management and field data collection and analysis.
Nursery Development Program Manager
Emilia is responsible for all field activities related to the coffee seed and nursery sectors under the WCR Nursery Development Program. Emilia has an agricultural engineering degree in agronomy from EARTH University in Costa Rica, and a degree as a project manager specialist from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica. She has a depth of experience and understanding of renovation programs and the coffee nursery and seed sector from her work in nurseries.
Project Agronomist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sylvain Roulain is WCR’s project agronomist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He earned his degree as Agronomist from ISTOM in Cergy-Pontoise, France in 2016, and his coursework focused predominantly on international development and agronomic research through experimentation. Before starting with WCR, he worked with FREDON Martinique to study Mammea Apple.
Josue Omar Callejas
Sub-Regional Coordinator (North)
Callejas earned his bachelor's degree in Food Science and Technology at Zamorano
Agricultural Panamerican School in Honduras. He completed internship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he
was a research assistant in a microbiology laboratory, a graduation research project developed with Archer Daniel's Midland Company.
IMLVT Program Coordinator
Solene oversees the network of the International Multilocation Variety Trial. She also coordinates the DNA Fingerprinting analysis. She obtained a master's degree in agronomy in France and has been working on seed production and breeding. Solene believes that understanding farmers constraints is a key driver for research activities and context adapted innovations. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Manager US
Koleen has 30+ years of experience in non-profit management and enjoys working as part of a team to keep no-profit organizations running smoothly. As WCR's Business Manager, she works closely with the Finance Team to handle billing and payments, contracts, and human resources. She is based in Portland, OR. Contact: email@example.com
Jean Baptiste Kayigamba
Breeding Hub Technician
Jean Baptiste Kayigamba spent the last three years as a field facilitators for the Rwanda Agriculture Board’s coffee program, where he prepared and set up varietal trials, collected data, and managed the nursery. He holds a BA in Agronomy from University of Rwanda College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine.
Simon Martin Mvuyekure
East Africa Breeding Hub Advisor
Dr. Simon Martin Mvuyekure is WCR's Regional Coffee Breeding hub Coordinator for Africa. He holds a Msc. in crop protection from “Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and a Ph.D in plant breeding, from the University of KwaZulu Natal (South Africa). For the last 13 years, he worked for Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB). His research focused on varietal development, coffee pests and disease management as well as coffee system agronomy. He contributed to the conception and management of outstanding coffee research projects aiming the sustainability of the coffee sector in Rwanda.
Since their establishment back in 2016, he is leading IMLVTs and the African Regional Breeding Hub hosted by Rwanda.
José María Gómez Vargas
Latin America Program Manager
is originally from Costa Rica, but considers himself as a “traveling
agronomist” since he has studied and worked in Guatemala, Honduras, the
United States, Switzerland, Brazil and El Salvador. José graduated from
the Pan-American School of Agriculture – Zamorano – with postgraduate
degrees in crop production and physiology from Iowa State University and
in integrated crop management from the University of Neuchâtel. He has
fourteen years of international experience in agriculture, data
development, monitoring, evaluation, extension and research.
Puerto Rico Country Agronomist
Remy Rodriguez has 10+ years experience in the coffee industry in PR and USA. He earned his degree as an Agronomist from the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez Campus, with specialization in soil fertility and natural resource conservation. He has worked as a consultant with different coffee producers, mills, nurseries, roasters and is also a board member to the local coffee producers cooperative (PROCAFE) in Puerto Rico. He is now proud to call himself a first generation coffee producer in the municipality of Guayanilla, PR.
Ana is the Accounting Manager of World Coffee Research and among her responsibilities are the analysis of financial information and the preparation of financial reports within the organization. She has a master's degree in accounting from Texas A&M university, is a Certified Public Accountant and is fluent in English and Spanish and has a working knowledge of French. She is excited about being part of the first collaborative agricultural R&D organization for coffee.
Contracts and Grants Manager
Kristin comes to WCR after managing R&D and policy programming for USAID where she oversaw the planning and execution of programs under the Feed the Future Research Strategy. Prior to joining USAID, Kristin was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar where she worked as a small enterprise development volunteer supporting farmers and artisans to expand their businesses. Kristin holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Iowa. Kristin is excited to join the team in support WCR’s mission.
Philippines Country Agronomist and Project Coordinator
Donnel Jun Tiedra is an agronomist who has worked in agriculture for the last 9 years in the Philippines. He has a BSc in Plant Breeding
and Genetics from University of Southern
Mindanao, and an Masters in Public Administration from Cor Jesu College. Prior
to joining WCR, he worked as Technical Advisory and Marketing Supervisor of Agriculture,
Food and Life Department at SGS Philippines. He also worked as Coffee
Agronomist for 6 years at Nestle Philippines. He was responsible for implementing
the Nescafe Plan, ensuring sustainable supply of good quality green coffee and
helping the Filipino coffee farmers increase their yield and income from coffee
farming. He also did multi-location trials for new clones of Robusta coffee to
assess performance on yield, pest and disease tolerance.
Nicaragua Country Agronomist
Jesslin Zeledón holds a degree in Administration of Coffee Farms and is currently
completing a Master's degree in Business Management. She has five years of
experience working on sustainable rural development projects. She also worked with small coffee producers and cooperatives, providing
technical assistance and developing experimentation processes to improve productivity, as well as improve quality of life.
Asia Regional Coordinator
Nuzul has spent more than 18 years working in both the private sector and non-profit organizations in Indonesia. His first experience in non-profit began 15 years ago when earthquake and tsunami disaster hit his hometown in Aceh on 2004. Since then he has managed several sustainable agriculture projects, which aimed to increase productivity and quality, as well as to promote alternative income streams for smallholders. These projects also aimed to strengthen farmer organizations in order to increase the income for smallholders in different provinces. His experience spans from on-farm smallholder support to national level coffee and cocoa initiatives in the region. In 2018 he was elected as chairman of General Assembly of Cocoa Sustainable Partnership in Indonesia. He is based in Banda Aceh. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Square K. Nyasulu
Malawi Country Agronomist
Square K. Nyasulu is an agronomist at Mzuzu Coffee Planters Cooperative Union, situated in Mzuzu city of Northern Malawi. He also works with WCR to establish and run OFTTs in Malawi. His major role at Mzuzu Coffee is to coordinate extension and training for over 2,600 farmers. His main interest is to foster sustainability of the coffee industry through technologies that mitigates the growing challenge of climate change.
Before joining Mzuzu Coffee, Mr Nyasulu worked as an Agronomist at the Tea Research Foundation where he helped to develop simple and efficient labor saving tea harvesting methods. He also worked at Agricultural Trading Company in Malawi and has a vast knowledge of agricultural input chain.
WCR Agronomist Peru
Jimmy More is the Country Agronomist for Peru. He holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva and a master’s degree in environmental management and sustainable development from the “Universidad Nacional Jorge Basadre Grohmann”, both in Perú. His research was focused on soil area and plant growth. He has worked in coffee projects and has experience training producers in coffee agronomy and nursery production.
Nicaise Sheila Sagbo
Coffee Economy Technician
Nicaise Sheila Sagbo is in charge of the economic analysis of the Global Coffee Monitoring Program. She also helps manage the WCR database for the program. She is based at the Texas A&M University where she holds a position of Associate Research Scientist. Sheila has worked on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to assess the impact of agricultural policies in Haiti. She has more than ten years of experience in research design, data collection, data management, and econometric analysis. Sheila holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and degrees in Agronomy and Agricultural Development.
Chief Institutional Relations & Sustainability Officer, Lavazza
Mario Cerutti was born in Torino (Italy) in 1958. He graduated in Business Administration at the University of Torino and got an MBA from the University of Dallas. He has been working in Lavazza since 1986, currently he is Chief Institutional Relations and Sustainability Officer in Lavazza. He is currently President of the European Coffee Federation (ECF) – he served as president in ECF also from 2004 to 2007. He is currently serving as President of Italian Coffee Committee (CIdC - Comitato Italiano del Caffè) - the association of large Italian coffee companies - , as Chairman of the Coffee & Climate Steering Committee and as member of the board of the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC). He is board member of ICP (International Coffee Partners).
President & CEO, Swiss Water Decaffeinated Company
Frank Dennis brings more than two decades of experience in the coffee industry to his role at Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Incorporated. From his early days working in packaged goods marketing with Braun Canada and Kraft Foods Canada, he led the $300 million Kraft coffee portfolio in the late 1990s and was responsible for the sale of the Swiss Water Division to private equity interests in 2000. Today, as President and CEO of Swiss Water, he has led the growth of the business and the brand as well as the extended development of the chemical-free decaffeination sector. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Western Ontario, and an MBA from the University of Toronto.
Treasurer of the Board
Vice President of Operations and Coffee Buyer, Java City
Shawn Hamilton is the Vice-President of Operations and Coffee Buyer for Java City, located in Sacramento, California. Since 1985, Java City has pioneered initiatives designed to enhance the global village, support the communities and protect the environment. Shawn has been involved in the Specialty Coffee industry since 1987. During his tenure he has worked in almost every facet of the industry from Barista, packaging, roasting, quality control, coffee buying, purchasing, futures and options hedging to executive management. He was instrumental in several mergers and acquisitions within the industry. His experience also includes a proven dedication to the industry and volunteering. Shawn has been a volunteer in Colombia to teach and evaluate cuppers for Coffee Corps, participates as a lead judge in the annual Cupping for Quality for the Rainforest Alliance, and has been a judge for Cup of Excellence. In addition, he is one of the founding members of the Roasters Guild and served for six years on the Executive Council. While on the Executive Council, Shawn served as Chairman and was instrumental in the creation of the overall structure of the Guild. He has also served on the Board of the Pacific Coast Coffee Association.
Jose L. Ramirez
VP of Coffee Strategy & Innovation at Farmer Brothers
Farmer Brothers (CBI) played a founding role in the development of WCR. In the past 100+ years, Farmer Brothers has grown to become one of the leading coffee-focused foodservice suppliers. Recently, Farmer Brothers has refocused on taking a leadership position in the coffee industry, including the National Coffee Association (NCA), Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) and Pacific Coast Coffee Association (PCCA). Farmer Brothers has also revamped its sustainability programs, ramping up our recycling efforts and driving large reductions in water usage and greenhouse gas emissions.
Jose joined Farmer Brothers in 2009 and has held various leadership roles. Today he is VP of Coffee Strategy & Innovation responsible for overall coffee strategy as it pertains to procurement, vendor management, coffee quality, and product development. He works directly with customers, sales, and marketing in business development. Jose also works on M&A activity, from initial step of evaluating potential targets to final integration. Since joining the industry in 2000, he has been involved in various associations including as President of PCCA, committees with SCA and speaking engagements domestic and international.
President, Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea
James McLaughlin is the president of Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. Previously he served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, and Director of Green Coffee. James' work with coffee began in earnest in Taquaritinga do Norte, Brazil where he was the director of an organic shade coffee farm. Prior to that James was a corporate lawyer for Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He received his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law.
Chief Sustainability Officer, Keurig Green Mountain
With a background in secondary education and sustainability, Monique has an MBA and an MS from the University of Michigan.
Howard G. Buffett Foundation Chair on Conflict and Development
Edwin C. Price leads the Center on Conflict and Development at Texas A&M, seeking to create and utilize an understanding of the role of development in preventing and mitigating armed conflict. He conducts research, teaching and development on fragile states, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Southern Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other conflict affected regions.
He was the founding director of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. Within the U.S. university community he has pioneered public-private sector partnerships including formation with the McDonald’s Corporation of the American Potato Trade Association; management of The Coca-Cola Company/McDonald’s/Conservation International Amisconde Project for Central America; and the InterAmerican Development Bank program on intellectual property rights and private investment in research in the Americas. He served in many agricultural research and development roles for the international agricultural research centers, US Department of Defense, US Department of Agriculture, US Agency for International Development, International Fund for Agricultural Development and other UN Agencies.
Chairman of the Board, Community Coffee Company
Matt Saurage is Chairman of the Board and the fourth generation in the largest family-owned coffee brand in America. Saurage believes in coffee research, particularly that which focuses on origin and agriculture, and is pleased to be part of a research program that allows information to be shared broadly and freely within the coffee industry.
Senior Vice President of Sustainability, Royal Cup Coffee and Tea
Jim Smith is the Senior Vice President of Sustainability at Royal Cup Coffee and Tea headquartered in Birmingham, AL and represents third-generation leadership within the family-owned organization. Royal Cup was founded in 1896 and is dedicated to providing high quality coffees and fine teas to customers nationwide. As one of World Coffee Research’s founding members, Royal Cup continues to actively support the vision and shared responsibility to lead in industry-wide educational efforts to sustain and grow the supply of quality coffee not only for today, but for the generations to come. Jim also serves on Royal Cup’s Board of Directors.
VIce Chair and Secretary of the Board
Vice President of Coffee Research & Development, J. M. Smucker Company
Jim Trout has more than 23 years of product development and innovation management experience, including 14 years in coffee. In 2008, Jim joined Smucker from The Procter & Gamble Company as part of the Folgers acquisition. In his current role, Jim oversees coffee research and development, the coffee innovation portfolio, as well as several strategic innovation partnerships. Prior to Smucker, Jim held numerous R&D management and staff roles at Procter & Gamble in the areas of process development, formulation, device development, and program management.
Jim’s career has focused primarily on the food and beverage industry, and has spanned several product categories including oils, coffee, and salted snacks. Jim currently holds 18 U.S. patents. He graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Jim lives near Cleveland in Broadview Heights, Ohio with his wife and three children. In his spare time, he is a board member of BioHio Research Park and volunteers with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Chair of the Board
Vice President, Peet's Coffee & Tea
Doug Welsh is Vice President of Coffee for Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Peet’s was established in 1966 in Berkeley, California, fount of the farm to table renaissance in American foodways. Originator Alfred Peet brought the focus of the industry to the finest grades of Arabica coffee and the pursuit of roasting as a craft. As only the third Roastmaster at the pioneering company and leader of the quality movement.
Doug is responsible for coffee overall, from sourcing to the blending, roasting, and brewing of a superior customer experience. Among other international fora, he has served as a judge at Cup of Excellence, speaker at Symposium, and is past President of the Pacific Coast Coffee Association. Doug resides in Berkeley and holds degrees in Sociology and Law from the University of California.
Supply Director, Taylors of Harrogate
Keith Writer is the Supply Director and an experienced member of the leadership team responsible for creating long-term strategy and the day to day running of Taylors. With overall responsibility for all direct purchases including coffee, tea and packaging in addition to research and development and sustainability for the Taylors business.
With over twenty years of experience Keith has traveled extensively around the world seeking out the top quality teas and coffees enjoyed by Taylors of Harrogate customers, including bringing to market new organic teas, rare teas and coffees and a herbal range. Travel is integral to his job and he spends several months in the course of the year visiting suppliers and growers worldwide, creating and sustaining strong direct relationships that are key to the business' approach to sourcing. Keith is a past member Board member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, United Kingdom Tea Council and British Coffee Association.
Liz Longstreet Darr
Executive Vice President of Strategic Sourcing, National DCP
Liz Longstreet Darr is the Executive Vice President of Strategic Sourcing at National DCP in Atlanta, GA, a $2 billion supply chain management company serving the franchisees of Dunkin’ Donuts. Liz started in the foodservice industry almost 20 years ago in restaurant operations, with the past 12 years spent in supply chain roles supporting multi-unit restaurant companies. She completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell University, and her MBA at Emory University.
Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University
Victoria Salin is Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University and since 2013, she has been Chair of the Intercollegiate Faculty of Agribusiness). Under her leadership, the Agribusiness program reputation grew to the 2019 ranking of first in the United States and third in the world among professional masters’ degrees in food industry management.
Dr. Salin’s research relates to food safety, traceability, and efficiency of enterprises involved in food distribution. Salin provides economic and financial research for the Scientific Advisory Council of the World Food Logistics Organization, an affiliate of the Global Cold Chain Alliance. Salin serves on the Board of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (an affiliate of the CGIAR international agricultural research system) (since 2016) and in this capacity monitors entrepreneurial ventures and other means to commercialize agricultural technologies to enhance food security in Africa. In 2020 Salin joined the Board of World Coffee Research.
Salin grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, a master’s degree from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in agribusiness finance and international trade.
René Léon Gomez
Executive Secretary, PROMECAFE
René Léon Gomez is the Executive Secretary at PROMECAFE where he represents its members in different events to benefit regional coffee sector involving 9 producing countries in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. René has been working for 15 years in management positions at the head of coffee institutions in Honduras and regionally. His work focuses on developing sustainable coffee farming by addressing needs and considering the challenges affecting small producers in the region, like profitability, quality and climate change adaptation.
Chairman, illycaffè SpA
Andrea Illy is the Chairman of illycaffè SpA and served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer for over 22 years, until 2016.
Mr. Illy contributed to make the company famous for its innovation in espresso technology. He joined many boards and his writings are recognized in the coffee sector.
Mr. Illy, who used to define himself as a “humanist chemist”, firmly advocates for corporate responsibility as means to improve society and promotes culture and art.
Among his several recognitions, Andrea Illy was named Cavaliere del Lavoro by the President of the Italian Republic.
Sustainability Director, Mercon Coffee Group
Since 2018, Giacomo Celi is the Sustainability Director at Mercon Coffee Group where he leads the global Corporate and Sustainable supply chains activities.
Giacomo has a strong background in different areas such as tropical agriculture, coffee procurement, international trade, corporate social responsibility and sustainable agro-supply chains.
With over 15 years of experience in industry, retail and consulting ranging from family-owned to start up and multinational groups, Giacomo knows well the international landscape in the coffee sector.
Email: Please see the "Who We Are" section for staff emails.
10940 SW Barnes Road #334
Portland OR 97225
106 rue Breteuil
Central American Hub
Beneficio Las Tres Puertas
Calle a Ciudad de Los Niños
Santa Ana, El Salvador
Where else to find us
We have core scientific and administrative staff based in France, El Salvador, and Guatemala City. Our communications office is located in Portland, Oregon.
Please contact Hanna Neuschwander, email@example.com, 503-560-7828