Compass Group, the world’s largest foodservice company, along with Foodbuy (their procurement arm) is the first foodservice company to commit to a sustainable future for coffee where coffee begins—with the seed. Foodbuy is the newest member and the only foodservice sector supporter of World Coffee Research.
“Foodbuy and Compass Group have a commitment to three life-sustaining priorities: humanity, sustainability and wellness,” says Tony Shearer, Foodbuy’s Chief Executive Officer. “Supporting World Coffee Research allows us to take action on these priorities and directly impact coffee farmers, the growing process and the coffee many of our customers drink every day.”.
A major focus of WCR’s work in 23 countries is making the coffee plant more resilient to the threats of the 21st century, including climate change. With $20,000 in new funding from Foodbuy, World Coffee Research will be able to extend its research into the molecular and genetic causes of quality, productivity, and disease resistance in the coffee plant, which will help make coffee farming more profitable and less risky, and therefore more sustainable for coffee farmers and for coffee drinkers.
Without investment in research and development like that conducted by WCR, it’s expected that up to 50% of the land where high-quality Arabica coffee currently grows will be unsuitable by 2050, with significant consequences for the people who grow coffee and for the environment.
Farmer Brothers, a national coffee roaster and distributor, is a WCR member and partners with Foodbuy to provide its Artisan Collection™ of premium, sustainable coffee to hospitals and colleges around the country. Through the Artisan Collection, Farmer Brothers and Foodbuy are making great, sustainable coffee available to a wide audience. Their joint support of WCR will fund research to help grow, protect and enhance quality coffee supplies for the future.
“We could not be more excited about Foodbuy’s commitment to our work,” says World Coffee Research Executive Director Tim Schilling. “And about what it signals about the growing awareness among companies and the public about how essential scientific research is to ensuring a sustainable future for coffee and coffee farmers.”
Some examples of the work that funding from Foodbuy will support:
• Tools to give farmers better information about existing coffee varieties so they can plant the coffee varieties that are best suited to their farm, such as the first-ever catalog of coffee varieties for Central America
• The world’s largest coffee seed exchange and comparison of varieties, to give farmers better choices about which coffee varieties to plant
• A long-term program to breed the next generation of coffee varieties that are climate resilient, disease and pest tolerant, high producing, and truly high quality. Improved coffee varieties can increase a farmer’s include by up to 50%.