Wrapping up a day of seminars, panels and coffee tasting, nearly 800 attendees—including coffee farmers, buyers, importers and coffee sector experts—discussed the future of coffee and its role as a sustainable product at the third annual International Conference on Sustainable Coffee, held in San Salvador last month.
Organized by the USDA-funded Coffee Rehabilitation and Agricultural Diversification Project, which NCBA CLUSA implements in El Salvador, the event drew experts from across Latin America and the U.S. to provide best-in-class training and education and foster relationships between buyers and other stakeholders looking to source coffee and ensure the industry's sustainability.
Hans Theyer, Executive Director of Fairtrade America and a member of NCBA CLUSA's Board of Directors, opened the conference along with Raina Lang, Sustainable Coffee Markets Director at Conservation International. Lang highlighted the challenges for the future of the industry and keys to making coffee the first sustainable agriculture product.
NCBA CLUSA’s work in El Salvador is a partner in Conservation International’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge, with the goal of making coffee the first fully sustainable agricultural product.
U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Jean Manes was also in attendance and toured the coffee exhibit stands.
Other highlights included a presentation on coffee and climate by Máximo Ochoa, Technical Director at Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung Foundation, who explained the direct relationship between coffee cultivation and climate, and the importance that coffee-growing communities learn to their manage their ecosystems sustainably.
Elías de Melo, researcher at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), presented on agroforestry systems and their connection to sustainable coffee, and Executive Director of SalvaNATURA, Miguel Araujo spoke on the conservation of coffee forests. Director of Sales and Marketing at Blanchard’s Coffee, Stephen Robertson, also gave a presentation on sustainable marketing. You can read Robertson’s guest blog on his recent visit to El Salvador with the project, and how sourcing relationships are key to sustainability.
The goal of the conference is to create open spaces for coffee producers and other stakeholders in the value chain to meet, network and learn about successful global experiences around the management of sustainable agriculture and how to apply it to the coffee sector in El Salvador and beyond.
Working with over 7,500 coffee producers and co-ops in El Salvador, NCBA CLUSA’s Coffee Rehabilitation and Agriculture Diversification Project runs through September 2019. You can learn about this project in the most recent episode of PostScript, NCBA CLUSA's video series that takes a deeper look at topics from the Cooperative Business Journal.
Watch the key presentations to learn more:
- Conservation International presentation (English), "Making Coffee Sustainable," by Raina Lang
- Coffee & Climate presentation, "Adapting Brazilian Coffee Production Systems to Climate Change," by Maximo Ochoa
- CATIE presentation, "Agroforestry Systems on Sustainable Coffee Farms," by Elias de Melo
- Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting presentation, "Sustainable Coffee Trade," by Stephen Robertson
- SalvaNatura presentation, "Salvadoran Coffee Orchard Conservation," by Miguel Araujo