Smallholder coffee farmers face many challenges, from the unpredictability wrought by the climate crisis to aging trees. A critical but less visible challenge is coffee’s lack of an organized seed sector—farmers have few guarantees that their seeds are genetically pure or healthy. In 2019, WCR joined the Maximizing Opportunities in Coffee and Cacao in the Americas (MOCCA) project, funded by USDA and led by Technoserve, enabling us to expand our seed sector work in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru.
News and knowledge
Project UpdateDate: 4.7.21
The Coffee Podcast: Coffee seed sector
Project UpdateDate: 12.17.20
WCR's Kraig Kraft is featured in a new episode of The Coffee Podcast
Tasting a new variety for the very first time
Project UpdateDate: 10.19.20
Since its inception in 2012, World Coffee Research has worked to establish dozens of trial sites around the world testing both existing and new varieties in different environments, both on research stations and in farmers’ fields. Many of those sites are starting to produce mature harvests, meaning the trees are ready to be evaluated for performance in the field—and in the cup. In 2019, one trial site testing new variety candidates in Costa Rica produced its first production harvest. WCR invited 20 industry cuppers to give feedback on the coffees.
Yemeni coffee—how genetically diverse is it?
Project UpdateDate: 9.18.20
Until recently, very little was known about the diversity of Yemen’s coffees outside of anecdotes and observation. But in 2014, WCR partnered with Dr. Al Hakimi of S'ana University to explore the diversity of Yemeni coffees as part of a larger analysis of arabica genetic diversity. The study, published in Nature Scientific Reports in January 2020, expanded our knowledge of Yemen coffee's genetic diversity.
It starts with a seed—but what seed is it?
Project UpdateDate: 9.1.20
WCR undertook crucial work in 2019 to advance our Nursery Development Program. Before nursery training programs begin, program workers typically conduct a baseline assessment of the seed and nursery production systems in a location. In 2019, WCR conducted seed sector analyses in countries with particularly difficult and disorganized seed production systems, including Mexico and the Philippines. The findings pave the way for a better future.