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World of Coffee’s Sustainability Forum lays down its roots

From the September 2016 issue.

A new event at this year’s World of Coffee took a detailed look at the sustainability issues facing the coffee industry.

Coffee farmers
The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe’s annual World of Coffee event is a celebration of what is new and what is great about the coffee industry.

This year a new supplementary event was held that focused on one of the major emphases that the specialty coffee movement has brought to the global industry over the past decade.

Held over three days in Dublin alongside the main trade show, the inaugural World of Coffee Sustainability Forum brought together people from all sides of the industry to discuss safeguarding the future of quality coffee by making the industry fairer and more environmentally responsible.

“The event really came about out of a desire to create a hub for discussion and debate about how we can work together as a community to secure a sustainable coffee future for generations to come,” says Antony Watson, who is the Sustainability Forum’s Project Manager.

With a two-day program that covered issues as diverse as innovation, financing, certification, and gender and youth issues, Watson says the point of the forum was to take the discussion about sustainability beyond the merely theoretical.

“Sometimes there is a sense that we do talk about sustainability, but what does it actually mean?” he asks Global Coffee Report. “For some it can seem like a buzzword that is just used for PR purposes, but really we wanted to get to the bottom of what it means to the coffee community and all the way along the value chain – how it impacts on people and how we can mobilise to work more effectively together to achieve a more sustainable coffee future.”

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