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Coffee is an extremely important agricultural commodity, produced in about 80 tropical countries, with an estimated 125 million people depending on it for their livelihoods in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, with an annual production of about nine million tons of green beans. Consisting of at least 125 species, the genus Coffea L. (Rubiaceae, Ixoroideae, Coffeeae) is distributed in Africa, Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, the Mascarene Islands (La Réunion and Mauritius), tropical Asia, and Australia. Two species are economically important for the production of the beverage coffee, C. arabica L. (Arabica coffee) and C. canephora A. Froehner (robusta coffee). Higher beverage quality is associated with C. arabica. Coffea arabica is a self-fertile tetraploid, which has resulted in very low genetic diversity of this significant crop. Coffee genetic resources are being lost at a rapid pace due to varied threats, such as human population pressures, leading to conversion of land to agriculture, deforestation, and land degradation; low coffee prices, leading to abandoning of coffee trees in forests and gardens and shifting of cultivation to other more remunerative crops; and climate change, leading to increased incidence of pests and diseases, higher incidence of drought, and unpredictable rainfall patterns. All these factors threaten livelihoods in many coffee-growing countries. The economics of coffee production has changed in recent years, with prices on the international market declining and the cost of inputs increasing. At the same time, the demand for specialty coffee is at an all-time high. In order to make coffee production sustainable, attention should be paid to improving the quality of coffee by engaging in sustainable, environmentally friendly cultivation practices, which ultimately can claim higher net returns.
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Sustainable Coffee Production
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Summary and Keywords
Coffee is an extremely important agricultural commodity, produced in about 80 tropical
countries, with an estimated 125 million people depending on it for their livelihoods in
Latin America, Africa, and Asia, with an annual production of about nine million tons of
green beans. Consisting of at least 125 species, the genus Coffea L. (Rubiaceae,
Ixoroideae, Coffeeae) is distributed in Africa, Madagascar, the Comoros Islands, the
Mascarene Islands (La Réunion and Mauritius), tropical Asia, and Australia. Two species
are economically important for the production of the beverage coffee, C. arabica L.
(Arabica coffee) and C. canephora A. Froehner (robusta coffee). Higher beverage quality
is associated with C. arabica. Coffea arabica is a self-fertile tetraploid, which has resulted
in very low genetic diversity of this significant crop. Coffee genetic resources are being
lost at a rapid pace due to varied threats, such as human population pressures, leading to
conversion of land to agriculture, deforestation, and land degradation; low coffee prices,
leading to abandoning of coffee trees in forests and gardens and shifting of cultivation to
other more remunerative crops; and climate change, leading to increased incidence of
pests and diseases, higher incidence of drought, and unpredictable rainfall patterns. All
these factors threaten livelihoods in many coffee-growing countries.
The economics of coffee production has changed in recent years, with prices on the
international market declining and the cost of inputs increasing. At the same time, the
demand for specialty coffee is at an all-time high. In order to make coffee production
sustainable, attention should be paid to improving the quality of coffee by engaging in
sustainable, environmentally friendly cultivation practices, which ultimately can claim
higher net returns.
Keywords: coffee, coffee berry borer, coffee leaf rust, coffee berry disease, sustainability, coffee value chain,
coffee genetic resources, climate change
Sustainable Coffee Production
Sarada Krishnan
Subject: Agriculture and the Environment Online Publication Date: Jun 2017
DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.224
Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental
Science
Sustainable Coffee Production
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Introduction
Botany and Origin
The first botanical description of the coffee tree was in 1713, under the name of
Jasminum arabicanum, by Antoine de Jussieu, who studied a single plant grown at the
botanic garden of Amsterdam. The species was later classified under the genus Coffea as
Coffea arabica by Linnaeus in 1737 (Charrier & Berthaud, 1985). Since then, many other
Coffea species have been discovered and described through extensive taxonomic work;
more recently, through molecular studies, the genus Psilanthus has been subsumed into
Coffea (Charrier & Berthaud, 1985; Davis et al., 2011; Wintgens, 2009).
A tropical woody genus, Coffea belongs to the Rubiaceae family. The primary center of
origin of C. arabica is the highlands of southwestern Ethiopia and the Boma plateau of
South Sudan, with wild populations also reported in Mount Marsabit in Kenya (Meyer,
1965; Thomas, 1942). C. canephora has a much wider distribution, from West to East Africa
in Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, Cabinda, Cameroon,
Congo, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Sudan, South
Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda and to the south to Angola (Davis et al., 2006).
Coffea arabica is an allotetraploid (2n = 4x = 44) that originated from two different
diploid (2n = 2x = 22) wild ancestors, C. canephora and C. eugenioides S. Moore or
ecotypes related to these two species (Lashermes et al., 1999). Due to the nature of its
origin, reproductive biology, and evolution, and due to the narrow gene pool from which it
spread around the world, Arabica coffee has very low genetic diversity (Anthony et al.,
2002; Lashermes et al., 1999; Vega et al., 2008). It is self-compatible and mostly reproduces
by self-fertilization, which occurs in about 90% of the flowers (Fazuoli et al., 2000).
The Arabica coffee tree is a small tree with the potential in the wild to reach 9 to 12
meters in height, growing at an altitude of 1,300 to 2,000 meters above sea level. From
seed germination to first fruit production, the coffee plant takes about three years, when
it reaches full maturity. The fruit of coffee is known as a cherry and the seed inside is
known as the bean. The fruit is comprised of the epicarp (skin), mesocarp (pulp),
endocarp (parchment), integument (silverskin), endosperm (bean), and embryo. The tree
has an open branching system with a main vertical (orthotropic) stem from which arise
primary plagiotropic branches from “head of series” buds. From primary branches arise
secondary branches, followed by tertiary and quaternary branches. The four to six serial
buds generate either flowers or orthotropic suckers. The leaves are opposite, dark green,
shiny, and waxed. The flower consists of white, five-lobed corolla, a calyx, five stamens,
and the pistil. The ovary at the base of the corolla consists of two ovules, which when
fertilized become two coffee beans (Wintgens, 2009).
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History
The history of coffee consumption begins in Ethiopia, where the local people have been
drinking coffee for many centuries. From its center of origin in Ethiopia, coffee made its
way to Yemen, possibly around the 6th century, with the first record of consumption as a
beverage by practitioners of Sufism around 1450. From Yemen, coffee spread to Cairo,
Damascus, and Istanbul, leading to the birth of the coffeehouse. Following this,
coffeehouses opened in Europe, the first one in Venice in 1645 and in Oxford in 1650. The
first coffeehouse in the United States opened in Boston in 1689. The tradition of
coffeehouses as meeting places where news, political debate, and ideas are exchanged
still continues (Vega, 2008). The opening of the first “Peet’s Coffee & Tea” shop in San
Francisco in 1966 was probably one of the significant changes in coffee consumption,
causing the expansion of the specialty coffee industry in the United States. This was
followed by the opening of the first Starbucks store in Pike’s Place in Seattle in 1971. In
1974, Erna Knutsen coined the phrase “specialty coffee” to describe the high-end, green
coffees of limited quantities she sold to small roasters; the coffees were sourced from
specific geographic microclimates and had unique flavor profiles. The growth of the
specialty coffee industry led to the formation of the Specialty Coffee Association of
America (SCAA) in 1982. Today, SCAA is the largest coffee trade organization, with nearly
2,500 company members (SCAA, 2016). In the early stages of the specialty coffee industry
development, there was a lack of definition of what specialty coffee was and how to
quantify it. In 2009, the SCAA published revised quality standards for specialty coffee. To
qualify as specialty, the coffee had to meet a minimum cupping score of 80 out of a 100-
point scoring system (Steiman, 2013).
Cultivation of coffee was started by the Dutch East India Company in Java using seeds
obtained from Mocha in Yemen in the 1690s. From Java, plants were taken to the
Amsterdam Botanical Garden in 1706, from which a plant was taken to France in 1713;
this plant was used by Antoine de Jussieu in first describing coffee. In 1720, one plant
made its way from France to the French colony of Martinique in the Caribbean. From
Martinique, coffee spread throughout the Caribbean islands: Haiti (1725), Guadeloupe
(1726), Jamaica (1730), Cuba (1748), and Puerto Rico (1755). Around the same time, the
Dutch introduced plants from Amsterdam to their South American colony in Suriname (in
1718); from there, coffee was introduced to French Guiana in 1719 and Brazil in 1727.
This was the basis of the “Typica” genetic line of coffee. The “Bourbon” genetic line
originated from coffee trees introduced from Mocha in Yemen to Bourbon (Reunion)
Islands in 1715 and 1718 (Anthony et al., 2002; Vega, 2008). The French later introduced
coffee cultivation in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1740 and Ceylon become a major producer of
coffee. In 1869, Ceylon’s thriving coffee industry was devastated by a fungal disease, the
coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix), leading to the replacement of coffee by tea in Ceylon
by the 1900s (Damania, 2003).
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In an effort to prevent the loss of coffee genetic resources and to enlarge the genetic base
of coffee for future crop improvement, several international institutions, such as the
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and others, have initiated many
collecting missions to various African countries since the 1960s. The emphasis has been
on collecting C. arabica germplasm because of its economic importance, but a number of
noncultivated species were also collected (as cited in Engelmann et al., 2007; Krishnan, 2013;
Vega et al., 2008). In addition to these international collecting missions, local researchers
within origin countries have performed their own collecting missions, such as in Ethiopia
(Labouisse et al., 2008), Madagascar, and Cote d’Ivoire. Coffea field gene banks were
established in several countries as a result of the collecting missions; the gene banks hold
accessions from the collecting missions as well as cultivated plants selected in plantations
and breeding centers. The 1998 FAO report, State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources,
documented 21,087 coffee accessions conserved worldwide (Anthony et al., 2007). The FAO
World Information and Early Warning System (WIEWS) Coffea Germplasm Report (2009–
2011) is the most comprehensive inventory of coffee germplasm held in living collections.
In 2009, Dulloo et al. did an inventory of limited gene banks, reporting 41,915 accessions
in field gene bank collections worldwide. In 2016, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, in
partnership with World Coffee Research, led the development of the Global Conservation
Strategy for Coffee Genetic Resources, which was scheduled for completion in early
2017.
Economics
Worldwide, an estimated 125 million people are dependent on coffee for their livelihoods
(Osorio, 2002), with more than 50 countries producing and exporting coffee, almost all in
the developing world (Lewin et al., 2004; NCA, 2017). Like any commodity trade, the coffee
trade has been characterized by boom and bust cycles since the 1880s, mainly due to an
imbalance of supply and demand. In the early 20th century, attempts to stabilize coffee
prices rested on efforts of individual countries, especially Brazil. Through the
“valorization” scheme of 1905–1908, Brazil bought and stored large amounts of coffee
and administered a tax policy imposing new levies on coffee hectarage that was aimed at
driving production down and prices up (Thurston, 2013A). In the 1930s, when the coffee
market collapsed, Brazil, the largest producer, responded by burning coffee or dumping it
into the ocean. In the following decades, the price of coffee has alternately soared and
dived, with the market hitting the lowest at 40 cents per pound in New York, while
farmers’ production costs amounted to about 70 cents a pound. This has led to poverty
and food insecurity in countries where the majority of coffee producers are subsistence
farmers (Osorio, 2002; Thurston, 2013B).
Significant transformation of the world coffee market occurred since the latter half of the
20th century. During the period between 1965 and 1989, the coffee market was
regulated, with relatively high price levels, because upward and downward trends were
corrected through the implementation of export quotas. The free-market period, which
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began in 1990, had two subperiods of significantly low price levels, 1989 to 1993 and
1999 to 2004, the latter being the longest period of low prices ever recorded (ICO, 2014).
Coffee production is generally characterized by considerable instability, with a large crop
one year followed by a smaller crop the next. In the world coffee market, as is the case
for many commodities, price volatility is a major concern for all stakeholders. In
exporting countries, price volatility leads to instability in producer incomes and
uncertainty of export earnings and tax revenues. In importing countries, price volatility
affects profit margins for roasters, traders, and stockholders (ICO, 2014). All these factors
make the coffee crop less attractive throughout the supply chain, especially to growers,
who will seek other, more remunerative crops to replace coffee. Despite these challenges,
world coffee production has grown steadily since the 1960s, although it will be difficult to
maintain this trend due to the continued rise in production costs, problems related to
climate change, and the higher incidence of pests and diseases (ICO, 2014).
To illustrate the global scale of coffee production and consumption, Tables 1 and 2 give the
figures for the total world coffee production, export, and consumption from 2006 to 2015
and the statistics for the top ten coffee producers of the world for 2015, respectively.
Coffee production, export, and consumption have steadily increased since 2006 (Table 1).
The top ten producers account for about 88% of total global coffee production and
exports. Among the top ten producers, Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia together produce
and export almost 60% of the global total (Table 2).
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Table 1. Total World Coffee Production, Export, and Consumption from 2006 to 2015
Crop Year Quantity (in 1,000 60-kg bags)
Production Export Consumption (Importing Countries)
2006 128,728 91,745 75,093
2007 119,996 96,302 75,964
2008 129,566 97,599 75,715
2009 123,276 96,242 74,211
2010 134,246 97,067 76,552
2011 140,617 104,435 76,447
2012 144,960 110,914 76,949
2013 146,506 110,501 79,467
2014 142,278 114,766 80,627
2015 143,306 112,722 81,188
Note: *Production statistics for 2006/07–2015/16.
Source: ICO (2016).
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Table 2. World’s Top Ten Coffee Producers—Production, Export and Proportions of World Production and Export During 2015
Country Production (1,000
60-kg bags)
Percent of World
Production
Exports (1,000 60-kg
bags)
Percent of World
Exports
Brazil 43,235 30.17 28,478 30.53
Vietnam 27,500 19.19 19,125 20.50
Colombia 13,500 9.42 10,031 10.75
Indonesia 12,317 8.60 4,847 5.20
Ethiopia 6,700 4.68 2,514 2.70
India 5,833 4.07 5,006 5.37
Honduras 5,750 4.01 4,746 5.09
Uganda 4,755 3.32 2,817 3.02
Guatemala 3,400 2.37 2,432 2.61
Peru 3,300 2.30 2,280 2.44
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Total World Production
& Export
143,306 88.17 93,275 88.21
Note: *Export statistics are for the period October 2015 to July 2016.
Source: ICO (2016).
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Sixty-five percent of the world’s coffee is consumed by just 17% of the world’s population
(Lewin et al., 2004). This provides tremendous opportunity for market expansion through
promotion of coffee consumption in both producing and consuming countries. Table 3
provides statistics on imports by the top ten leading importing countries. The top ten
countries account for about 81% of total imports, with the United States importing almost
a quarter of the total imports, followed by Germany at 18%.
Table 3. World’s Top Ten Coffee Importers During 2013, the Latest Year with Complete
Statistics
Country Imports
(1,000 60-kg bags)
Percent of Global Imports
United States 27,016 23.14
Germany 21,174 18.13
Italy 8,823 7.56
Japan 8,381 7.18
France 6,713 5.75
Belgium 5,502 4.71
Spain 5,137 4.40
Russian Federation 4,410 3.78
United Kingdom 4,206 3.60
Netherlands 3,407 2.92
Total World Imports 116,773 81.17
Source: ICO (2016).
Brazil continues to be the world’s largest coffee producer, and due to use of mechanized
harvesting, it has achieved much higher productivity than with hand-picking (Thurston,
2013A). Colombia, which used to be the second largest producer, has been replaced by
Vietnam, a producer of robusta coffee, and Ethiopia’s production has been surpassed by
Indonesia’s (Table 2). In nearly all coffee-exporting countries, dependence on coffee as the
main foreign export earner has fallen, although coffee is still extremely important in the
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economy of many countries. A major concern throughout the coffee industry is the small
percentage of the total value of coffee realized by the producers and producing countries.
A 2006 report estimated that exporting countries earned only 7% of the total market
value of coffee. In addition to the cost of production incurred by the producing countries,
which include cost of fertilizers, pesticides, transportation, etc., the increase in the value
of coffee also comes from costs incurred by the consuming countries, such as advertising,
wages, rents, insurance, utilities, transportation, etc. (Thurston, 2013A). Like all other
agricultural commodities, coffee has an uncertain market future. Price volatility, dictated
by supply and demand, and climate events affect the economics of the coffee trade.
Crop Production
Production
Coffee-producing areas are located in latitudes between 22º N and 26º S. The
environmental factors affecting coffee growth and productivity are temperature, water
availability, intensity of sunshine, wind, soil type, and land topography (Descroix &
Snoeck, 2009). Optimal temperatures for growing Arabica coffee are 18ºC during the night
and 22ºC during the day, although tolerated extremes extend from 15ºC up to 30º C.
Robusta coffee can tolerate slightly higher temperatures, with optimal temperatures
between 22 and 28ºC (Descroix & Snoeck, 2009). Water availability, in the form of rainfall
and atmospheric humidity, affects growth of coffee. Most coffee-growing regions are
typically rain-fed, since land topography is not conducive to installation of irrigation
systems. For Arabica growth, annual rainfall of 1,400 to 2,000 mm is favorable, and for
robusta, it is 2,000 to 2,500 mm. Rainfall below 800 to 1,000 mm for Arabica and 1,200
mm for robusta can result in poor productivity (Descroix & Snoeck, 2009). The best relative
humidity for robusta is 70% to 75% and for Arabica it is around 60%. Natural or artificial
shade is provided to coffee plants in cultivation to recreate their original forest
environment, although sunlight-tolerant varieties have been developed for increased
productivity. However, shade still remains useful, especially to mitigate the effects of
extreme high and low temperatures (Descroix & Snoeck, 2009). Strong winds affect the
growth of coffee, with significant damage caused by cyclones. Regions frequently
impacted by cyclones include Madagascar, the Philippines, the Caribbean, Vietnam, and
Hawaii. The best soils for coffee growing include alluvial and colluvial soils with texture,
as in volcanic formations, and good drainage. Soil depth of at least 2 m is required for
taproot growth and development (Descroix & Snoeck, 2009). Although flat lands or slightly
rolling hills are best suited for coffee growing, they are not always available in many
coffee-growing regions due to the natural topography of the land. Flat areas allow for
mechanization. On steep slopes, mechanization is difficult and production becomes
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costlier since conservation measures need to be implemented to prevent soil erosion
(Descroix & Snoeck, 2009).
A coffee plant starts producing flowers 3 to 4 years after planting, with full productivity
achieved in 5 to 7 years. Productivity starts diminishing after about 20 years, although
with proper handling, the trees can bear fruit for about 50 years or so. The time elapse
between flowering and maturation of coffee berries varies depending on variety, climatic
conditions, agricultural practices, etc. Typically, Arabica coffee takes about 6 to 9 months
and robusta coffee takes about 9 to 11 months (Wintgens, 2009). Inputs like fertilizer and
pesticides maximize coffee productivity.
A characteristic of coffee production is the biennial pattern of fruit bearing by the trees,
with high yield in alternate years. In high-bearing years, in order to support their heavy
fruit production, the trees sacrifice new growth production. The following year this is
compensated for by reduced fruit bearing. The biennial bearing phenomenon is more
common in unshaded production systems with deficient management. In well-managed
systems with adequate fertilization and proper pruning, biennial bearing is less
pronounced (Wintgens, 2009).
Once coffee berries are harvested, they are processed by one of two methods: the wet
method or the dry method. Processing converts the coffee cherries to green beans, which
is what is ultimately roasted, ground, and consumed. The wet process is more time,
resource, and labor intensive. The cherries are sorted by immersion in water. The bad
cherries float to the top and are discarded. Those that sink are the good, ripe cherries,
which are further processed by pulping (removal of pulp) and drying. In the dry method,
the cherries are directly dried, either naturally in sunshine or using mechanical dryers.
Once the coffee is dried, through a process called hulling, the outer parchment layer (and
the dried pulp in the case of dry-processed coffee) is removed. Polishing, which is an
optional processing method, removes the silverskin, the layer beneath the parchment
layer. The green beans are then color sorted and graded for size. The ideal moisture
content of dried green beans is about 12%. Drying to below a 9% moisture content can
result in shrunken, distorted beans.
Major Pests and Diseases
Coffee Berry Borer—Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari)
The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), an
insect endemic to Africa, is the most serious pest of coffee in many of the major coffee-
producing countries in the world (Vega et al., 2009, 2012). It was accidentally introduced
into Brazil in 1913, after which it invaded coffee plantations throughout South and
Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean (Infante et al., 2012). The coffee berry borer
has been transported around the world, most probably through seeds containing the
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borer. Very few coffee-producing countries are still free of it. Its presence in Hawaii was
confirmed in 2010; Papua New Guinea and Nepal still remain free of the pest (CABI, 2016).
The adult female borers cut a characteristic hole (Figure 1) at the blossom end of large
green berries about eight weeks after flowering, and then they deposit their eggs in
internal galleries. The larvae, upon hatching, feed on the seed. A single berry may be
infested with up to 20 larvae. Many infested immature berries fall off the trees. Yield and
quality of marketable product are significantly reduced; in heavy infestations, borers have
been known to attack 100% of berries. The insect remains inside the berry most of its life,
making it difficult to control (CABI, 2016; Crowe, 2009; Vega et al., 2009, 2012).
There is no simple and
cheap method of
controlling this insect.
Cultural control measures
are recommended, with
chemical control used as a
supplement to cultural
measures. Cultural
measures that can be
adopted to reduce
infestations include:
reducing heavy shade,
keeping the coffee bush
open by pruning, picking
coffee at least once a week during the main harvest season, stripping the trees of any
remnant berries once harvesting is done, ensuring that no berries are left on the ground,
and destroying all infested berries by burning (Crowe, 2009).
Click to view larger
Figure 1. Coffee berries infested by coffee berry
borer with visible entry holes.
Photo courtesy of Sarada Krishnan.
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Coffee Leaf Miner—Leucoptera coffeella Guérin-Meneville
The coffee leaf miner, Leucoptera coffeella (Lepidoptera: Lyonetiidae), is a moth whose
larvae feed inside the leaf tissue and consume the palisade parenchyma. In Brazil, the
leaf miner is one of the most serious pests on Coffea arabica. It is an introduced pest from
Africa, and crop losses of up to 50% are possible. Twenty species of leaf miners of the
genus Leucoptera have been described, and they infest 65 host species. Four species of
Leucoptera are known to infest Coffea species: L. coffeella, L. meyricki Ghesq., L. coma
Ghesq., and L. caffeina Wash. (Filho, 2006; Filho et al., 1999). In eastern Africa from Ethiopia
to South Africa, L. caffeina and L. meyricki are major pests of Arabica coffee. Both these
species have also been recorded as attacking the indigenous wild coffee, C. eugenioides
and other shrubs in the Rubiaceae family (Crowe, 2009).
The coffee leaf miner, L. coffeella, was first introduced to Brazil around 1851, probably on
nursery stock imported from the Antilles and Bourbon Island. It is a monophagous pest
that attacks only coffee plants (as cited in Filho, 2006). Infested coffee has large, irregular,
brown spots on the upper surface of the leaf, which reduces the leaf’s photosynthetic
area. Rubbing or exposing the spots reveals fresh mines and small whitish caterpillars
(Figure 2). Mined leaves shed prematurely. Loss in productivity is mainly due to leaf loss.
Chemical control of the pest, although effective, increases cost of production and has
associated environmental risks. Coffee cultivars with resistance to the pest have been and
continue to be developed through classic breeding and molecular selection techniques. In
Brazil, varieties resistant to L. coffeella have been developed using genes from C.
racemosa (Filho, 2006; Filho et al., 1999).
Click to view larger
Figure 2. Coffee leaf miner larvae on Coffea arabica
in South Sudan.
Photo courtesy of Sarada Krishnan.
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Root-knot Nematodes—Meloidogyne spp.
Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) have become a major threat in all C. arabica-
growing regions of the world (Noir et al., 2003). They are sedentary nematodes; the
females settle into the rootlets of the coffee trees, causing distorted knots known as galls.
Infected coffee trees do not necessarily die, but they are debilitated under normal
growing conditions (Castillo et al., 2009). More than 15 species of Meloidogyne have been
reported as pathogens of coffee, with different species causing different forms of damage
to roots based on their respective interactions and associations with fungi. The most
damaging species reported in Central America is M. exigua Goeldi (Bertrand et al., 2001,
Castillo et al., 2009; Noir et al., 2003). In Guatemala, the most common species is M.
incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood, which causes severe damage, often resulting in
death of trees (Anzueto et al., 2001). In Central America, all cultivated varieties (such as
Typica, Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Costa Rica 95, and IHCAFE90) are susceptible, with
Costa Rica reporting an estimated drop in yield of 10% to 20% due to general weakening
of the trees (Bertrand et al., 2001). In addition to their presence in South and Central
American countries, various Meloidogyne spp. have also been documented in Africa and
India, and two specifically in Kenya (Castillo et al., 2009).
From an economic viewpoint, nematodes are significant in Latin America because they
limit coffee production. In many regions, the nematode problem is amplified by their
association with fungi, leading to fungal infections of the plants, causing physiological
alterations. The most common fungi are Fusarium spp. and Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn, both
pathogenic in coffee during early stages of planting. Methods of control include
disinfecting soil as a preventative measure, control of weedy hosts, pruning to strengthen
root system, removal of dead plants, organic fertilization to stimulate root growth and
improve nutrition, genetic resistance through breeding, grafting on resistant root stocks,
chemical control, biological control, and use of antagonistic plants (Castillo et al., 2009).
While standard Arabica cultivars are highly susceptible to M exigua, several accessions of
C. canephora have exhibited a high level of resistance, including the interspecific hybrid
—Timor Hybrid (as cited in Bertrand et al., 2001; Noir et al., 2003).
Coffee Leaf Rust—Hemileia vastatrix Berkeley and Broome
Coffee leaf rust caused by the obligate parasitic fungus Hemileia vastatrix causes
considerable economic losses to coffee producers (Diola et al., 2011), especially with C.
arabica, and is currently found in all coffee-growing regions of the world. First observed
in 1861 near Lake Victoria, the fungus has now spread throughout coffee-growing
countries, and it led to significant economic impact in Sri Lanka in 1868 (Silva et al., 2006).
In India, coffee rust in susceptible C. arabica cultivars accounts for about 70% of crop
losses (Prakash et al., 2004). The 2012/2013 outbreak of coffee rust in Central America
resulted in more than 60% of the trees’ exhibiting 80% defoliation in Mexico (Cressey,
2013). Crop devastation in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and
Honduras was also reported, impacting over 1.08 million hectares (Cressey, 2013; ICO,
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2013). According to the International Coffee Organization, the 2012/2013 outbreak of
coffee rust in Central America was expected to cause crop losses of $500 million and to
cost 374,000 jobs (ICO, 2013).
The first observable symptoms occur on the upper surface of the leaves as small, pale
yellow spots. The spots gradually increase in diameter, and masses of orange uredospores
are seen on the undersurfaces of the leaves (Figures 3 and 4). The centers of the spots
eventually turn brown and dry, while the margins continue to produce uredospores and to
expand. They eventually cover significant areas of the limb. The leaf rust results in loss of
physiological activity, which causes the leaves to fall. Severe infection can cause branches
to wither completely. Uredospores can be spread by both wind and rain, with splashing
rain serving as an important means of local dispersal. Long-range dispersal is primarily
by wind. Good cultural management is key in achieving control of the disease, although
many factors dictate cultural methods, such as varieties grown, soil characteristics,
amount and distribution of rainfall, etc. Chemical control using copper-based products is
effective if applied at regular intervals as a preventative measure. A disadvantage of
copper-based fungicide, in addition to cost, is that it accumulates in the soil and can
reach levels toxic to plants and other organisms (Amerson, 2000; Muller et al., 2009).
Taking economics and minimization of chemical input for disease management into
consideration, the most viable and effective option is the development and cultivation of
tolerant coffee varieties. Hence, breeding for varieties resistant to coffee leaf rust has
been one of the highest priorities in many countries (Prakash et al., 2004). Prakash et al.
(2011) have successfully applied marker-assisted selection (MAS) to achieve durable leaf
rust resistance. Using two sequence-characterized amplified regions (SCAR) markers
closely linked to the rust- resistant SH3 gene (Sat244 and BA-124-12K-f), they were able
to distinguish the presence or absence of the SH3 gene using the C. arabica cultivar S.
795, a cultivar derived from S.26, a spontaneous hybrid of C. arabica and C. liberica. The
marker Sat244 was more efficient in distinguishing the homozygous and heterozygous
status of the SH3 gene. This study was the first report of the successful use of MAS for
breeding for coffee leaf rust resistance.
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Click to view larger
Figure 3. Underside of Coffea arabica leaves
infected with coffee leaf rust.
Photo courtesy of Sarada Krishnan.
Click to view larger
Figure 4. Upper side of Coffea arabica leaves
affected by coffee leaf rust.
Photo courtesy of Sarada Krishnan.
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Coffee Berry Disease—Colletotrichum kahawae Bridge and Waller
Coffee berry disease (CBD) caused by the fungus Colletotrichum kahawae was first
detected in Kenya in 1922 around Mt. Elgon, west of the Rift Valley. From Kenya, the
disease spread rapidly, first to the Kivu district in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and
then on to Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Angola (Muller et al., 2009). Currently,
the disease has been restricted to East, Central, and South African coffee growing
countries (as cited in Hindorf & Omondi, 2011). It infects all stages of the crop, from
flowers to ripe fruits and occasionally leaves, and may cause up to 70% or 80% crop
losses if no control measures are adopted, with maximum crop losses occurring following
infection of green berries, leading to formation of dark, sunken lesions (Figure 5) and
premature dropping and mummification of the fruits (as cited in Silva et al., 2006). The
annual economic impact of CBD to Arabica coffee production in Africa is estimated to be
$300–$500 million, due to crop losses and cost of chemical control (van der Vossen &
Walyaro, 2009). Although CBD is currently restricted to Africa, precautions to prevent
introduction of the disease should be taken in other coffee-producing countries (Silva et
al., 2006).
Control of the disease can be achieved through an integrated cultivation approach, with
chemical control linked to improved cultivation practices and genetic control (Muller et
al., 2009). It is reported that CBD resistance appears to be complete in C. canephora and
partial in C. arabica (Silva et al., 2006). Breeding for CBD resistance in C. arabica was
initiated in response to severe disease epidemics about 35 to 40 years ago in Kenya,
Ethiopia, and Tanzania, with release of resistant cultivars to coffee growers since 1985
(van der Vossen & Walyaro, 2009). Under field and laboratory conditions, differences in
resistance of coffee trees to CBD have been observed, with higher resistance in Geisha
10, Blue Mountain, K7, Rume Sudan, and progenies of Hibrido de Timor than in Harar
and Bourbon in Kenya (Silva et al., 2006).
Click to view larger
Figure 5. Coffee fruits affected by coffee berry
disease in Kenya.
Photo courtesy of Sarada Krishnan.
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American Leaf Spot—Mycena citricolor (Berkeley & Curtis) Saccardo
American leaf spot, caused by the fungus Mycena citricolor, is predominantly prevalent in
Latin America, specifically in Costa Rica and in the Caribbean. The disease also attacks a
number of other plants in addition to coffee. In coffee, it affects all plant parts: stems,
branches, leaves, and fruits (Muller et al., 2009). On coffee, subcircular brown spots are
formed on leaves, which turn pale brown to straw-colored (Figure 6). The spots have a
distinct margin, but with no halo. Mature spots become lighter and develop minute,
yellow, hairlike gemmifers, mostly on the upper surface of the spots. The centers of older
leaf spots may disintegrate, giving a shothole appearance. Similar spots may be produced
on stalks and berries. The main effect is to cause leaf fall, with a consequent reduction in
growth and yield of the coffee tree (Plantwise Technical Factsheet, 2015).
Control measures include use of copper-based fungicides alternating with use of modern
triazoles with systemic effect. Practicing good cultural methods, such as weed control,
pruning, and shade control, is necessary to prevent the disease and to reduce disease
intensity. The economic impact of the disease has been relatively low, and hence very
limited research has been done on developing resistance varieties (Muller et al., 2009).
Coffee Wilt Disease—
Gibberella xylarioides
R. Heim & Saccas
Coffee wilt disease is a
vascular fungal disease
first detected in 1927 in
the Central African
Republic, where the
disease spread and
developed drastically over
the next decade (Muller et
al., 2009). The disease
resulted in significant loss
in production of robusta
coffee in the 1990s in the
Democratic Republic of
Congo and Uganda, killing hundreds of trees (Hindorf & Omondi, 2011). First
documentation of infection of C. arabica was in Ethiopia in 1958 (as cited in Hindorf &
Omondi, 2011).
Symptoms include yellowing of leaves, which dry and fall, then branches die, which
finally leads to withering and death of the entire tree within a few months. Plant death is
caused by blockage of water and sap circulation due to colonization of the sap vessels by
the fungal mycelium. Infection can set in any time from the cotyledon stage to maturity.
Control of the disease through chemical treatment is not efficiently possible. Spread and
Click to view larger
Figure 6. Coffea arabica leaves infected by American
leaf spot in Jamaica.
Photo courtesy of Sarada Krishnan.
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contamination can be limited by applying a suitable antiseptic paste to cuts or wounds
resulting from pruning, use of cultivation tools, and insect infestation, preventing entry of
disease pathogen into sap vessels beneath the bark (Muller et al., 2009).
Sustainability and the Future
Environmental Sustainability
Due to increasing population pressures and accompanying deforestation and land
degradation, natural forest ecosystems housing high levels of biodiversity are under
serious threat in the centers of origin of various Coffea spp. in Africa (Kufa, 2010). In
addition to being centers of origin, most African countries are also coffee producers (such
as Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and others), and coffee has a
central role in their national economies. Despite coffee’s importance, coffee exports from
Africa have steadily declined, leading to food insecurity among resource-poor, small-scale
farmers. The reasons for the decline include market volatility, inadequate market access,
inefficient policy frameworks, inadequate access to improved technologies and services,
lack of incentives, and climate-associated risks. All of these factors have led to neglect of
coffee farms or switching to subsistence farming to tackle food insecurity. Although
coffee is predominantly grown in mixed-crop, agroforestry systems promoting
conservation and organic farming, the demand for high-quality coffees resulted in
increased costs of production and processing that are beyond the capacity of most coffee
farmers in Africa. In addition, the coffee marketing system and sharing of benefits has to
pass through a complex value chain, with the benefits rarely reaching poor communities
in developing countries. Hence the practical contributions of fair trade and other
sustainability initiatives have become questionable (Kufa, 2010).
Coffee production in an agroforestry system, a system involving production of coffee
under the shade of diverse canopy species, has great conservation potential. Various
coffee areas display a broad array of shade-management systems, ranging from no shade
to intense shade. In the 1970s, there was a tremendous push in Central American
countries toward less shaded or open-sun production systems, with the objective of
increasing yields. The reduction or elimination of shade trees was accompanied by the
introduction of agrochemical inputs, a campaign to combat the coffee leaf rust. This
intensification system was promoted more in countries with strong governmental
ministries and research institutions advocating modern practices for higher yields and
reduction in complexity of traditionally managed systems, such as Costa Rica, Colombia,
and Kenya. In countries where less technical assistance prevailed, growers continued to
grow coffee in traditional systems utilizing shade. A consequence of intensification is the
decline in biodiversity, whereas a coffee landscape managed with a diverse shade cover
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that mimics a natural forest will harbor birds and other wildlife. Advantages of utilizing a
shaded system include providing viable habitat, enhancing biodiversity, sustaining
biological control agents, such as birds and bats, and enhancing pollinators of the coffee
itself (Rice, 2013).
Coffee as an agroforestry system providing ecosystem services for maintaining and
restoring resilient biological and social systems is a very feasible option. Kufa (2010)
recommended a call to action for embedding the agroforestry system of coffee production
into climate agreements by providing compensation for the multiple ecological services
yielded by adopting such a system in each country. Rice (2013) also recommended
advocating shade-grown coffee to agricultural planners and policymakers in developing
countries as an option for a positive correlation between conservation and the
marketplace. There is an urgent need to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change
on coffee production by maintaining quality environments through minimization of
deforestation and forest degradation. Immediate measures are needed to identify, design,
and implement conservation strategies to counter the threats arising from climate change
to coffee ecology and production. To ensure success of environmental sustainability and
biodiversity conservation, measures delivering incentives and equitable benefit sharing
from the use of forest genetic resources and the ecosystem services, such as premium
prices for quality coffees, should be addressed. This will lead to sustainable development
of the coffee sector and enhance the well-being of resource-poor farmers in developing
countries (Kufa, 2010). This process will require strong partnerships along the entire
coffee value chain in both producing and consuming countries for coordination of
sustainability initiatives for the future of the global coffee economy.
Coltro et al. (2006) conducted a life cycle assessment (LCA) of the environmental profile of
green coffee production in Brazil. The study was done to understand detailed production
inventory data (life cycle inventory—LCI) and to identify potential environmental impacts
of tillage in order to generate ways to reduce impacts and to improve environmental
sustainability. Results of the study showed that, for production of 1,000 kg of green coffee
in Brazil, the inputs required were 11,400 kg of water, 94 kg of diesel, 270 kg of
fertilizers and NPK, 900 kg of total fertilizers, 620 kg of correctives (such as limestone to
correct soil acidity), and 10 kg of pesticides. The study provided important results for
better correlation of agricultural practices and potential environmental impacts of coffee.
Another LCA, conducted on a farm in Guatemala, showed that the bulk of the
environmental impact of producing coffee was in transportation. When impacts due to
other coffee processes, such as roasting and brewing, were compared, the farming of
coffee was a small percentage of the overall impact (Salinas, 2008). Understanding the LCI
of agricultural products is a fundamental step in understanding potential environmental
impacts in order to establish the basis for product sustainability (Coltro et al., 2006).
Environmental profiles differ with different agricultural practices, and they should not be
generalized for different coffee-growing regions.
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Sustainability of the Coffee Value Chain
Coffee is a truly global commodity, with the coffee value chain comprising a host of
participants, from the producers to intermediary players to the final consumer. The
breadth and intimacy among the various actors of the coffee supply chain make the sector
one of critical importance for sustainable development at the local, regional, and global
levels (IISD, 2003). The global coffee value chain has been transformed dramatically since
the 1990s due to deregulation, evolving corporate strategies, and new consumption
patterns (Ponte, 2004). Consumers are more discerning about the coffee products they
choose for consumption, and they have numerous combinations to choose from with
respect to sustainability (such as fair trade, organic, and shade grown) and specialty
types (such as coffee variety, origin, brewing and grinding methods, packaging, and
flavoring).
In the coffee industry, sustainability has become a hot topic. Sustainability developed
within the North American specialty coffee industry, although Europe developed the first
forms of sustainable coffee through the fair-trade movement (Ponte, 2004). Several
initiatives have been created to address specific aspects of sustainability related to the
coffee sector, addressing issues related to social, economic, and environmental problems.
Several of the initiatives focus on providing a structure for implementing, administering,
and monitoring social and environmental standards throughout the product chain,
particularly at the production level (IISD, 2003). This has led to conferring of certification
and labeling for easy identification and product choice by the consumer. Table 4 lists the
different types of sustainability initiatives that have been implemented in the coffee
sector (although the table is not all-inclusive).
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Table 4. Description of Select Coffee Sustainability Systems
Initiative Initiator Key Characteristics Geographic Coverage
& Target Groups
Level of Stringency
Fair trade Fair Trade Labeling
Organizations
International (FLO)
and associated fair
trade guarantee
organizations
Focus on poverty
alleviation; guaranteed
minimum price paid to
registered small-farmer
organizations
Global; narrow target
groups covering only
small-scale producers
High; premium for
social and economic
aspects; third-party
certification and
monitoring of
standards
Bird friendly Smithsonian Migratory
Bird Center (SMBC)
Preserve habitats of
migratory songbirds,
with minimum
standards for
vegetation cover and
species diversity to
obtain use of label;
emphasis on songbirds
and organic shade-
grown coffee
Standards applied only
to Latin American
countries so far;
targets are narrow,
addressing only
organic and shade-
grown coffee
producers
High; premium for
environmental aspects;
third-party certification
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Organic International
Federation of Organic
Agriculture Movements
(IFOAM) and affiliated
associations
Focus on
environmental aspects
and social justice; no
synthetic chemicals,
soil conservation, no
GMOs, etc.
Global, but most
organic coffee comes
from Latin America,
especially Mexico; all
farms
High; accredited
certification agencies
monitor organic
standards for
production, processing,
and handling
Eco-OK Rainforest Alliance Focus on biodiversity
conservation,
improving
environmental and
social conditions in
tropical agriculture;
emphasis on
environmental
protection, shade,
basic labor and living
conditions, and
community relations
Latin American
countries only;
midrange, with big and
medium-size estates of
shade-grown coffee
producers only, as well
as some cooperatives
High; premium for
environmental aspects;
third-party certification
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Utz Kapeh Utz Kapeh Foundation
(Ahold Coffee Company
in cooperation with
Guatemalan coffee
suppliers)
Emphasis on creating
transparency along the
supply chain and
rewarding responsible
coffee producers using
good agricultural
practices; standards on
environmental
protection and
management, and labor
and living conditions
Mainly in Latin
America, but growing
in Asia and Africa;
producers of all sizes
and production types
Medium across all
pillars of sustainability;
third-party certification
Nespresso AAA
Sustainable Quality
Nestle Focus on sourcing
high-quality
sustainable coffee in a
way that is respectful
of the environment and
farming communities
Narrow; high-quality
Nespresso-only coffee
growers
Medium across all
pillars of sustainability;
third-party verification
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Starbucks C.A.F.E.
(Coffee and Farmer
Equity) Practices
Starbucks Emphasis on high-
quality coffee that is
sustainably grown,
with good social and
environmental
performance
minimizing negative
environmental impact
Narrow; high-quality
Starbucks-only coffee
growers
Medium across all
pillars of sustainability;
third-party verification
The Common Code for
the Coffee Community
(4C)
Multistakeholder
(government/industry):
Kraft Foods, Jacobs
Kaffee, Nestle, German
Development Agency
(GTZ)
Provide a baseline
standard, with
opportunities for
stepping up from the
sustainability baseline
to more demanding
standards
Broad; producers of all
sizes and production
types
Low; baseline across
all pillars of
sustainability; third-
party verification
Source: IISD (2003), Ponte (2004), and Reinecke et al. (2012).
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Although these initiatives have the objective of being transparent and verifiable, the
biggest challenges have been the growth in the number of initiatives and the lack of
cooperation between initiatives, which pose a threat to their ability to meet standards on
a broad scale (IISD, 2003) and create confusion among consumers. In addition, institutional
and project-based initiatives launched by industry, NGOs, and governments add to the
confusion and are limited in their ability to address macroeconomic problems and lack
consistency across initiatives. Hence, clear, transparent, and flexible sustainability
criteria need to be established with a multistakeholder mechanism for establishing and
administering the implementation at the international level. This will ensure a trade-
neutral path toward sustainable development within the coffee sector and better
collaboration and coordination between existing initiatives, thereby improving the
adoption rate of sustainable practices throughout the sector. Through integration of
economic sustainability with social and environmental sustainability, there is a need and
an opportunity to improve coffee-sector sustainability through the adoption of
multilateral, multistakeholder, market-based approaches (IISD, 2003).
Drawing from the existing initiatives, the International Institute for Sustainable
Development has identified five principles for sustainable development, providing a broad
foundation for an integrated approach within the coffee sector (IISD, 2003):
Principle 1: Fair price/wage to producers that covers production, living, and
environmental costs within a competitive framework with a measured degree of
stability.
Principle 2: Maintain employment relationships in accordance with core
International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions and local law.
Principle 3: Implement environmentally sustainable production practices.
Principle 4: Enhanced access to credit and opportunities for diversification for
producers.
Principle 5: Enhanced access to trade information and trade channels for producers.
The Future
Coffee genetic resources are under threat due to loss of the forest ecosystems housing
these valuable gene pools (Gole et al., 2002). Some of the threats contributing to the
erosion of coffee genetic diversity include human population pressures, volatile coffee
markets, and global climate change. Conservation of coffee germplasm as seeds is not a
viable option due to the recalcitrant/intermediate storage behavior of seeds (Dulloo et al.,
1998; Ellis et al., 1990). Hence, coffee is conserved in field gene banks (Engelmann et al.,
2007). Conservation of coffee genetic resources should take into account complementary
methods of in situ (in their natural habitat) and other ex situ (outside their natural
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habitat) conservation methods. Krishnan (2013) articulated the urgent need to develop a
comprehensive strategy for the conservation of coffee genetic resources through a
thorough evaluation of existing germplasm.
In the coming decades, climate change will have a huge impact on coffee production,
especially C. arabica, which is a climate-sensitive species. Noticeable effects of climate
change, such as a hotter climate and less and more erratic precipitation, have already
been documented in coffee-producing regions. In recent years, droughts have become
more frequent in coffee regions and they are expected to increase in severity during the
21st century. The changes in temperature and rainfall will lead to a decrease in areas
suitable for coffee cultivation, moving the crop up the altitudinal gradient, and will lead
to increased incidences of pests and diseases, expanding the altitudinal range in which
pests and diseases can survive. Direct impacts of climate change will result in stressed
growth of coffee trees, limited flowering and berry development, poor yield, and poor
quality of the coffee beans. Severe outbreaks and spread of diseases (such as leaf rust,
coffee berry disease, wilt, leaf blight), insects (coffee berry borer, leaf miners, scales),
and nematodes will be experienced—the coffee leaf rust epidemic of Central America in
2012/2013 being an example.
The imminent danger of the effects of climate change warrants the conservation of coffee
ecosystems through reduction of deforestation and forest degradation (Kufa, 2010). Using
locality analysis and bioclimatic modeling of indigenous Arabica coffee via distribution
data, Davis et al. (2012) predicted a 65% to almost 100% reduction in the number of
bioclimatically suitable localities by the year 2080. When an area analysis was used, the
reduction in suitable bioclimatic space ranged from 38% to 90% by 2080.
In Central America, since 2000, the area affected by coffee berry borer has gradually
increased (Laderach et al., 2010). In certain areas, in addition to drought, severe
hurricanes will most likely become more frequent (Schroth et al., 2009). Schroth et al.
(2009) identified a comprehensive strategy that will sustain biodiversity, ecosystem
services, and livelihoods in the face of climate change. The strategy includes promotion of
biodiversity-friendly coffee-growing and coffee-processing practices, incentives for forest
conservation and restoration, diversification of revenue sources, integrated fire
management, market expansion to develop a demand for sustainably produced coffee,
crop insurance programs for smallholder farmers, and strengthening capacity for
adaptive resource management. Developing adaptation strategies will be critical in
sustaining the coffee economy and livelihoods in many countries. The key to this lies in
utilizing the varied coffee genetic resources in order to develop varieties with drought
stress tolerances and pest and disease resistances.
In 2016, World Coffee Research and the Global Crop Diversity Trust spearheaded the
development of the Global Conservation Strategy for Coffee Genetic Resources. World
Coffee Research (WCR) is a collaborative, not-for-profit 501(c)5 research organization
with the mission to grow, protect, and enhance supplies of quality coffee while improving
the livelihoods of the families who produce it. The program is funded and driven by the
Sustainable Coffee Production
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global coffee industry, guided by producers, and executed by coffee scientists around the
world. The Global Crop Diversity Trust (The Crop Trust) is an international organization
working to safeguard crop diversity, forever. The Crop Trust is an essential funding
element of the United Nation’s International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food
and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), an agreement that includes 135 countries.
Through engagement of multinational stakeholders engaged in various aspects of coffee
production, processing, breeding, conservation, and research, the global strategy aims to
ensure the conservation and use of coffee genetic resources for a positive, sustainable
future of the crop and for those dependent on coffee for a livelihood. The strategy will act
as a framework for bringing together stakeholders at all levels—local, regional, national,
and global—in building awareness, capacity, and engagement in conserving the genetic
diversity and use of coffee genetic resources for the long term.
Suggested Readings
Engelmann, F., Dulloo, M. E., Astorga, C., Dussert, S., & Anthony, F. (Eds.). (2007).
Complementary strategies for ex situ conservation of coffee (Coffea arabica L.) genetic
resources. A case study in CATIE, Costa Rica. Topical Reviews in Agricultural
Biodiversity. Rome: Bioversity International.
Thurston, R. W., Morris, J., & Steiman, S. (Eds.). (2013). Coffee: A comprehensive guide to
the bean, the beverage, and the industry. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Wintgens, J. N. (Ed.). (2009). Coffee: Growing, processing, sustainable production—A
guidebook for growers, processors, traders, and researchers (2d ed.). Weinheim: Wiley-
VCH.
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Sarada Krishnan
Denver Botanic Gardens
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... Coffee is a globally important agricultural commodity that plays a significant economic role in producing and consuming countries (Krishnan, 2017). The genus Coffea consists of more than 100 botanical species (Davis et al., 2006), however, the most cultivated species are Coffea canephora and Coffea arabica. ...
... Examples of diseases associated with coffee include cercosporiosis (Cercospora coffeicola), bacterial blight (Pseudomonas syringae pv. Garcae), anthracnose (Colletotrichum coffeanum), root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.), coffee berry disease -CBD (Colletotrichum kahawae), and coffee leaf rust -CLR (Hemileia vastatrix) (Cabral et al., 2016;Krishnan, 2017). CLR is one of the most devastating diseases found in coffee and is present in all regions of the world where coffee is grown (McCook and Vandermeer, 2015;Cabral et al., 2016). ...
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The largest family of disease resistance genes in plants are nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat genes (NLRs). The products of these genes are responsible for recognizing avirulence proteins (Avr) of phytopathogens and triggering specific defense responses. Identifying NLRs in plant genomes with standard gene annotation software is challenging due to their multidomain nature, sequence diversity, and clustered genomic distribution. We present the results of a genome-wide scan and comparative analysis of NLR loci in three coffee species (Coffea canephora, Coffea eugenioides and their interspecific hybrid Coffea arabica). A total of 1311 non-redundant NLR loci were identified in C. arabica, 927 in C. canephora, and 1079 in C. eugenioides, of which 809, 562, and 695 are complete loci, respectively. The NLR-Annotator tool used in this study showed extremely high sensitivities and specificities (over 99%) and increased the detection of putative NLRs in the reference coffee genomes. The NLRs loci in coffee are distributed among all chromosomes and are organized mostly in clusters. The C. arabica genome presented a smaller number of NLR loci when compared to the sum of the parental genomes (C. canephora, and C. eugenioides). There are orthologous NLRs (orthogroups) shared between coffee, tomato, potato, and reference NLRs and those that are shared only among coffee species, which provides clues about the functionality and evolutionary history of these orthogroups. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated orthologous NLRs shared between C. arabica and the parental genomes and those that were possibly lost. The NLR family members in coffee are subdivided into two main groups: TIR-NLR (TNL) and non-TNL. The non-TNLs seem to represent a repertoire of resistance genes that are important in coffee. These results will support functional studies and contribute to a more precise use of these genes for breeding disease-resistant coffee cultivars.
... Despite impressive figures, the production of coffee in Ethiopia per hectare (ha) is still low as compared to many countries in Africa, Central and South America (Krishnan 2017;Davis et al. 2018). The average yield across the country is not larger than 700 kg ha −1 (Davis et al. 2018). ...
... The CBD pathogen attacks all organs of the host, but symptoms are most readily seen on the young, developing fruits. The fungus principally impairs the maturation process of the younger fruits ultimately causing premature dropping and mummification of the fruits (Hindorf and Omondi 2011;Krishnan 2017). Sites with higher altitude are more predisposed to infection than sites lower altitudes due to more favourable climatic conditions for the pathogen (Zeru et al. 2009;Davis et al. 2018). ...
Investigation of coffee wilt disease (CWD) caused by Gibberella xylarioides was made to determine the spatio-temporal pattern, socio-economic challenges and management practices in Berbere district between 2017 and 2018. A field and household surveys were employed for the study. The incidence and severity of CWD were varied among the study villages (p < 0.05), but not between dry and wet seasons (p > 0.05). The variation in the disease severity was due to variations in the disease incidence among study villages, and in dry or wet season. The mean yield of coffee was higher before 2009 than after 2008 (p < 0.0001). Coffee wilt disease caused largely economic losses and shifting coffee cultivation; found frequently on older and densely planted coffee. Replacing with new seedlings and weeding were used largely for CWD management. There is an increasing intensity of CWD in the district, suggesting an integrated disease management option
... All these factors threaten livelihoods in many coffee-growing countries. (Krishnan, 2017) The economics of coffee production has changed, the demand for specialty coffee is at an all-time high. In order to make coffee production sustainable, attention should be paid to improve the quality of coffee by engaging in sustainable, environmentally friendly cultivation practices, which ultimately can claim higher net returns (Krishnan, 2017). ...
... (Krishnan, 2017) The economics of coffee production has changed, the demand for specialty coffee is at an all-time high. In order to make coffee production sustainable, attention should be paid to improve the quality of coffee by engaging in sustainable, environmentally friendly cultivation practices, which ultimately can claim higher net returns (Krishnan, 2017). Therefore, the issue of future coffee plantations must receive attention. ...
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The objective of this research is to describe the construction of claims in the strategies used in the coffee discourse. The claim in the argument can show cognition about coffee that is implanted by the producer. his research takes data from the online discourse of Indonesian coffee. The data of this research are statements that are contextually interpreted as claims and then examined from the Toulmin concept. By studying the types of claims, types of claims and its strategy to connect claims and ground, the researcher describes the arguments in the coffee discourse. From the results of the qualitative study, it is obtained that there are three types of claims, namely fact-based claims, judgment and value claims, and claim-based policies. From the three types of claims it can be concluded that there are. From the results and discussion it can be stated that there are subjective and objective claims formed in the coffee discourse. Objective claims are proven by geographical location, research, knowledge and environmental conservation in industrial agriculture (future knowledge). Subjective claims are shown by personality and support quality. Regarding history, as an aspect of judgment and value claims, it is subjective and objective. From these claims, it can be seen that the coffee discourse contains cognitions about coffee companies with historical authority, personality, and taste; future knowledge and research references; taste, packaging, and good process.
... Coffee is a major agricultural commodity produced in many tropical countries, with millions of households in Latin America, Africa, and Asia relying on it for their livelihoods (Krishnan, 2017). Coffee cultivation, processing, and consumption are dynamic processes that bring together coffee farmers and agribusiness around the world with coffee drinkers (Jha et al., 2011). ...
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Traditional coffee cultivation in Cuba is the result of a complex interaction between different flora species creating agroforestry systems widely spread in mountainous area. The systems, product of local traditional knowledge, are mainly devoted to coffee production but, thanks to the interaction with other species, farmers provide different food products both for self-consumption and to be sold. Furthermore, the adoption of shade trees in order to reach a better quality of the coffee cultivated creates particular microclimate conditions favorable for microorganisms, fauna species and also for spontaneous flora species. According to this it is clear the relationships between traditional knowledge and biodiversity preservation which is fundamental also for improving the surrounding environment, avoiding floods or hydrogeological instability damages, concurring to climate change mitigation and carbon storage. Traditional agroforestry systems are one of the best example of coexistence and coevolution between man and nature, being an historical system adopted by local communities to satisfy their needs in total respect of the surrounding environment. Considering this, the promotion and maintenance of this kind of systems and knowledge related might constitute a valid example to actively preserve biodiversity while respecting human needs for food and livelihood security. These systems are also of particular importance considering the importance of coffee as a beverage served in many countries of the world, but often produced in intensive plantations. This paper shows the high sustainability of coffee production under the shade of trees and support a new concept of food quality contributing to preserve local cultures and environments.
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The distinctive and special taste of Indonesian coffees has been renowned in the world coffee market. In the coffee’s production system at the farm level, the term specialty coffee typically refers to sustainable coffee. To keep up and maintain the uniqueness of specialty coffees’ tastes, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham) of Indonesia has issued the Geographical Indication certification on coffees. Understanding consumers’ preferences are very important to be able to identify the market, enabling producers and businesses to promote their products in a better way. This study revealed the consumers’ preferences for North Sumatera specialty coffees and investigate the problems in marketing them. The conclusions are: the coffee’s taste is the most important factor for consumers in deciding the coffee shop to buy specialty coffees; the medium acidity level (sour taste) is the most important factor for consumers in choosing specialty coffees to buy; and consumers prefer Sidikalang Robusta coffee the most, followed by Sumatera Mandheling and Sumatera Simalungun Arabica coffee.
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Coffee by-products are a renewable, plentiful, cost-effective, and mostly untapped resource that could be used as a biofuel feedstock. However, the energy efficiency and biofuel yields are mostly determined by the biofuel production technologies. Pretreatment procedure, hydrolysis methods, fermentation methods, oil to biodiesel conversion techniques, binders employed, applying pressure and temperature are the main factors to improve the biofuel yields from coffee by-products. This paper examines state-of-the-art methods for increasing biogas, bio-ethanol, biodiesel, briquettes, and pellets outputs from coffee by-products. Pretreatment and co-digestion of coffee by-products with other low carbon to nitrogen ratio animal manure boost the biogas yield of coffee by-products, which is also discussed. A yield of bio-ethanol from coffee by-products was also improved using advanced pretreatment procedures, production processes, and the use of genetically modified yeast strains that ferment the majority of sugar monomers. Additionally, oil extraction methods from spent coffee grounds were reviewed, as well as optimizing biodiesel yield from spent coffe grounds oil. The process of making briquettes and pellets, as well as the types of binders utilized, are discussed. The main novelty of this review is on improving biofuel yields such as biogas, bio-ethanol, biodiesel, briquettes, and pellets from the entire dry cherry coffee beans processing residues, wet coffee (coffee pulp or peeled) beans processing residues, and optimizing oil and biodiesel yield from spent coffee grounds.
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Editorial The RSD10 symposium was held at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2nd-6th November 2021. After a successful (yet unforeseen) online version of the RSD 9 symposium, RSD10 was designed as a hybrid conference. How can we facilitate the physical encounters that inspire our work, yet ensure a global easy access for joining the conference, while dealing well with the ongoing uncertainties of the global COVID pandemic at the same time? In hindsight, the theme of RSD10 could not have been a better fit with the conditions in which it had to be organized: “Playing with Tensions: Embracing new complexity, collaboration and contexts in systemic design”. Playing with Tensions Complex systems do not lend themselves for simplification. Systemic designers have no choice but to embrace complexity, and in doing so, embrace opposing concepts and the resulting paradoxes. It is at the interplay of these ideas that they find the most fruitful regions of exploration. The main conference theme explored design and systems thinking practices as mediators to deal fruitfully with tensions. Our human tendency is to relieve the tensions, and in design, to resolve the so-called “pain points.” But tensions reveal paradoxes, the sites of connection, breaks in scale, emergence of complexity. Can we embrace the tension and paradoxes as valuable social feedback in our path to just and sustainable futures? The symposium took off with two days of well-attended workshops on campus and online. One could sense tensions through embodied experiences in one of the workshops, while reframing systemic paradoxes as fruitful design starting points in another. In the tradition of RSD, a Gigamap Exhibition was organized. The exhibition showcased mind-blowing visuals that reveal the tension between our own desire for order and structure and our desire to capture real-life dynamics and contradicting perspectives. Many of us enjoyed the high quality and diversity in the keynotes throughout the symposium. As chair of the SDA, Dr. Silvia Barbero opened in her keynote with a reflection on the start and impressive evolution of the Relating Systems thinking and Design symposia. Prof.Dr. Derk Loorbach showed us how transition research conceptualizes shifts in societal systems and gave us a glimpse into their efforts to foster desired ones. Prof.Dr. Elisa Giaccardi took us along a journey of technologically mediated agency. She advocated for a radical shift in design to deal with this complex web of relationships between things and humans. Indy Johar talked about the need to reimagine our relationship with the world as one based on fundamental interdependence. And finally, Prof.Dr. Klaus Krippendorf systematically unpacked the systemic consequences of design decisions. Together these keynote speakers provided important insights into the role of design in embracing systemic complexity, from the micro-scale of our material contexts to the macro-scale of globally connected societies. And of course, RSD10 would not be an RSD symposium if it did not offer a place to connect around practical case examples and discuss how knowledge could improve practice and how practice could inform and guide research. Proceedings RSD10 has been the first symposium in which contributors were asked to submit a full paper: either a short one that presented work-in-progress, or a long one presenting finished work. With the help of an excellent list of reviewers, this set-up allowed us to shape a symposium that offered stage for high-quality research, providing a platform for critical and fruitful conversations. Short papers were combined around a research approach or methodology, aiming for peer-learning on how to increase the rigour and relevance of our studies. Long papers were combined around commonalities in the phenomena under study, offering state-of-the-art research. The moderation of engaged and knowledgeable chairs and audience lifted the quality of our discussions. In total, these proceedings cover 33 short papers and 19 long papers from all over the world. From India to the United States, and Australia to Italy. In the table of contents, each paper is represented under its RSD 10 symposium track as well as a list of authors ordered alphabetically. The RSD10 proceedings capture the great variety of high-quality papers yet is limited to only textual contributions. We invite any reader to visit the rsdsymposium.org website to browse through slide-decks, video recordings, drawing notes and the exhibition to get the full experience of RSD10 and witness how great minds and insights have been beautifully captured! Word of thanks Let us close off with a word of thanks to our dean and colleagues for supporting us in hosting this conference, the SDA for their trust and guidance, Dr. Peter Jones and Dr. Silvia Barbero for being part of the RSD10 scientific committee, but especially everyone who contributed to the content of the symposium: workshop moderators, presenters, and anyone who participated in the RSD 10 conversation. It is only in this complex web of (friction-full) relationships that we can further our knowledge on systemic design: thanks for being part of it! Dr. JC Diehl, Dr. Nynke Tromp, and Dr. Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer Editors RSD10
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Coffee is one of the largest traded agri-plantation commodities consumed as a popular beverage across the globe. India exports 75% of its coffee to Europe, the USA, and other developed countries; however, prices depend upon multiple factors of national and international importance. This study makes an in-depth analysis of the US dollar, crude oil, International Coffee Organisation’s (ICO) coffee spot, and futures on Indian coffee auction prices of Arabica and Robusta. The study adopting causal research method examined cointegration and relative effect by administering Johansen cointegration, vector error correction model under VAR environment, VEC-Granger causality, and block exogeneity Wald test. The study found cointegration and long-run association of the US dollar index and crude oil on Arabica than Robusta coffee. Hence, any change in the prices of ICO spot, Arabica coffee futures, crude oil, and the US $ index leads to long-term change in the Indian Arabica coffee auction prices. Coffee exporter should hedge their currency risk on Arabica export and coffee farmers may anticipate increase in domestic prices against sharp rise in US dollar.
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The taxonomic position of some Coffea species is controversial. Many of the known species have been discovered along harvests made in the tropical forests of Africa since 1940. The literature suggests that the true Coffea species are those from central and equatorial regions of Africa, including Madagascar and the neighbouring islands close to Indian Ocean. The other species from Asian regions, previously described as being part of the genus Coffea, are no longer considered true Coffea species. Chevalier (1947) in his classification, considered 65 species from which 24 belonged to other genera. Cramer (1957), however, suggested the existence of at least 100 species. Purseglove (1968), cited by Wrigley (1988) referred to 50 species of the Coffea genus, from which 33 were from Tropical Africa, 14 from Madagascar and 3 from Mauritius and Reunion Islands. As these species are studied, divergences are noticed as for the number of true species from Madagascar. New Coffea species were described by Bridson (1982), especially in Eastern parts of Africa, although some of them have not been thoroughly characterized. Leroy (1980) recognized three genera of coffee plants: Coffea, Psilanthus and Nostolachma. The latter is restricted to Asia and Indonesia. He also distinguished three subgenera of Coffea and two of Psilanthus.
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Coffee genetic resources are being lost at a rapid pace, leading to loss of genetic diversity. Some of the threats contributing to the erosion of coffee genetic diversity include human population pressures, which lead to conversion of land to agriculture, deforestation and land degradation; low coffee prices leading to abandoning of coffee trees in forests and gardens and shifting cultivation to other more remunerative crops; and global climate change. Conservation of coffee germplasm as seeds is not a viable option because of the recalcitrant/intermediate storage behaviour of seeds. Hence, development of a comprehensive conservation strategy for coffee should take into account complementary methods of in situ and ex situ conservations. The development of molecular techniques has expanded the possibilities and tools for genetic analysis for efficient conservation and use of coffee genetic resources. Before it is too late, a thorough evaluation of existing germplasm should be performed based on which a comprehensive conservation strategy can be developed.
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The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), is the most devastating insect pest of coffee throughout the world. The insect is endemic to Africa but can now be found throughout nearly all coffee‐producing countries. One area of basic biology of the insect that remains unresolved is that of its alternative host plants, i.e. which fruits of plants, other than coffee, can the insect survive and reproduce in. An in‐depth survey of the literature revealed an article by Schedl listing 21 genera in 13 families in which the insect was collected, mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This overlooked reference, together with information provided in other early articles, suggests that H. hampei is polyphagous, and could provide, if confirmed in the field, critical information on the evolution of this insect's diet, ecology and host range. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, ••, ••–••.
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Coffee (Coffea spp.) is one of the world’s most valuable agricultural export commodities produced by small-scale farmers. Its germplasm, which holds useful traits for crop improvement, has traditionally been conserved in fi eld genebanks, which presents many challenges for conservation. New techniques of in vitro and cryopreservation have been developed to improve the long-term conservation of coffee. But a question remains as to whether these new techniques are more cost effective than fi eld collections and more effi cient at reducing genetic erosion. This study compared the costs of maintaining one of the world’s largest coffee fi eld collections with those of establishing a coffee cryo-collection at the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) in Costa Rica. The results indicate that cryopreservation costs less (in perpetuity per accession) than conservation in fi eld genebanks. A comparative analysis of the costs of both methods showed that the more accessions there are in cryopreservation storage, the lower the peraccession cost. In addition to cost, the study examined the advantages of cryopreservation over fi eld collection and showed that for species that are diffi cult to conserve using seeds, and that can only be conserved as live plants, cryopreservation may be the method of choice for long-term conservation of genetic diversity.
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This book with eighteen chapters draws together themes on sustainability that have emerged as the most pressing in recent years. The book addresses practical topics such as air quality, manure management, animal feeds, production efficiency, environmental sustainability, biotechnology issues, animal welfare concerns, societal impacts and an analysis of the data used to assess the economic sustainability of farms. Further, the book will be helpful to academics, researchers, animal scientists, farmers agriculturalists, environmentalists.
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Morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies show that there is a close relationship between Coffea and Psilanthus. In this study we reassess species relationships based on improved species sampling for Psilanthus, including P. melanocarpus, a species that shares morpho-taxonomic characters of both genera. Analyses are performed using parsimony and Bayesian inference, on sequence data from four plastid regions [trnL–F intron, trnL–F IGS, rpl16 intron and accD–psa1 intergenic spacer (IGS)] and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of nuclear ribosomal DNA (ITS 1/5.8S/ITS 2). Several major lineages with geographical coherence, as identified in previous studies based on smaller and larger data sets, are supported. Our results also confirm previous studies showing that the level of sequence divergence between Coffea and Psilanthus species is negligible, particularly given the much longer branch lengths separating other genera of tribe Coffeeae. There are strong indications that neither Psilanthus nor Coffea is monophyletic. Psilanthus melanocarpus is nested with the Coffea–Psilanthus clade, which means that there is only one critical difference between Coffea and Psilanthus; the former has a long-emergent style and the latter a short, included style. Based on these new data, in addition to other systematically informative evidence from a broad range of studies, and especially morphology, Psilanthus is subsumed into Coffea. This decision increases the number of species in Coffea from 104 to 124, extends the distribution to tropical Asia and Australasia and broadens the morphological characterization of the genus. The implications for understanding the evolutionary history of Coffea are discussed. A group of closely related species is informally named the ‘Coffea liberica alliance’. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2011, 167, 357–377.