Center for Coffee Research and Education Among Top 20 Research Centers Making a Difference

The Texas A&M Center for Coffee Research and Education at Texas A&M University in College Station has been recognized as one of the top 20 graduate research centers “making a real difference” by The center aims to assist smallholder coffee farmers in coffee-growing countries and meet research needs of the coffee industry through projects in the field and research on critical issues along the coffee value chain from producer to consumer. They also provide training for those interested in coffee and coffee-related work and are continually expanding their educational efforts.

This year, the center is collaborating with the university to establish a new certificate program in coffee, which would be the first academic degree in coffee in the U.S. The center is located on the Texas A&M campus within the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, and its mission is associated with the Borlaug Institute since coffee is a major crop for production in the developing world. The center also benefits from the support of coffee industry partners and continues to develop additional relationships with industry stakeholders.

The center’s objective is to show smallholder coffee farmers how to increase their income by growing higher-quality specialty coffees that will command higher prices. The livelihoods of coffee farmers and those along the coffee supply chain face various challenges related to climate change, diseases and pests, low crop yields, low prices, and barriers to quality. The center’s efforts support the rapidly growing specialty coffee industry by providing training and education for the next generation of coffee agronomists, business leaders, researchers, and consumers.

The Center for Coffee Research and Education seeks to elevate the lives of smallholder coffee farmers in some of the most important coffee-producing regions of the world, including Central and South America and Africa. They are continually developing initiatives to improve the quality and supply of coffee globally through research and capacity building. Educational efforts by the center also help the smallholder farmer by introducing them to new coffee genotypes, showing how to better market their products, and demonstrating how new technologies and practices can improve operational efficiencies.

Recently, Brenner led a group of Texas A&M students in a study abroad program in Costa Rica to give them a firsthand look at the challenges and opportunities for smallholder coffee farmers in that country.

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