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GMCR grants $2.5 million to World Coffee Research initiative

From the June 2012 issue.

World Coffee ResearchWorld Coffee Research (WCR) announced on 1 June that they are the recipient of a five-year, US$2.5 million grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR).

WCR is the non-profit, collaborative research and development program of the global coffee industry and is managed by the Norman Borlaug Institute
for International Agriculture of the Texas A&M University System. The grant will help support WCR’s mission to sustainably grow the Arabica coffee supply chain and improve coffee farmer livelihoods through collaborative agricultural research and development.

"GMCR wants to play an active role in helping to shape the future of the specialty coffee industry— particularly in helping to sustain the supply chain and being ahead of the challenges that loom in the horizon, including climate change," said Lindsey Bolger, Senior Director of Coffee for GMCR’s Specialty Coffee business unit, in a WCR statement. "Clearly, we have a keen interest in ensuring a continued supply of high quality coffee. We would invite any coffee company to join us in support of the WCR program, especially companies that are concerned with sustaining a supply of high quality coffee."

Bolger said that in addition to sustaining supplies of coffee, companies should support WCR "to ensure that coffee growing communities have viable options to combat the effects of climate change and other environmental threats to their production and livelihoods."

WCR will conduct research projects with partners around the world to protect and improve coffee productivity against the effects of climate change and other threats.

"GMCR is the fastest-growing specialty coffee company in the US, a forward-thinking company and a leader in the industry. The company has been supportive of WCR since its inception," says Tim Schilling, the Executive Director of WCR. "When we started the research initiative, we needed progressive companies to anchor the program at significant levels of funding. GMCR believed in our team and our research plan, and they took a leadership role in funding this initiative."

Patrick Criteser, Board Chairman of WCR and CEO of Coffee Bean International, said that GMCR's support of WCR is important because of the company's record in sustainability across the coffee supply chain.

"GMCR is a leader in sustainability— including social, environmental, and economic responsibility— and wants to highlight the importance of a program like WCR that aims to increase the supply and quality of Arabica coffees," said Criteser.

GMCR is WCR's largest financial donor and its support extends to active engagement in origin countries. In April 2012, Lindsey Bolger was part of a WCR team of coffee experts during an expedition through the Boma Forest in South Sudan. The purpose of the expedition was to confirm the existence of Arabica coffee and collect data.

"Lindsey Bolger from GMCR participated in the WCR coffee germplasm exploration in South Sudan as an industry representative," said Schilling. "Her presence is important because she was able to contribute the perspective of coffee roasters to our data collection and research."

In the company statement, WCR and the Borlaug Institute thank GMCR for its generous support and invite individuals and companies, small and large, to join us in sustaining the supplies of quality coffee.

Interested companies can visit <<WorldCoffeeResearch.org/GetInvolved>> to become a member and help shape the future of the specialty coffee industry.

Learn more about the South Sudan expedition at <<WorldCoffeeResearch.org>>.

For background information on the formation of WCR published in Global Coffee Review, see <<An Orphan Crop>> <<GCQRI takes on a new space>>

 

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