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Coffee and Tea Reports from the Front Lines

Dr. Jane Goodall Finds Common Ground For Chimps and Coffee

United States – Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., of Waterbury, Vermont recently unveiled its latest coffee, “Gombe Reserve”—in cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute. The coffee, grown by members of the Kalinzi Cooperative, a group of 2,700 small-scale farmers who live near Gombe National Park in Tanzania is also the site of Dr. Goodall’s groundbreaking research of chimp behavior, and the world’s longest-running field study of a wild chimpanzee group continues there today. Just outside the park, however, social and economic pressures are closing in along with a burgeoning human population where a struggle to survive has effectively deforested the land all around the park.

National parks are not alone as chimpanzees in the wild are also on the brink of extinction. At the turn of the last century, about 1 million chiampanzees lived in 25 countries across western and central Africa. Today, their number has dwindled to fewer than 200,000, with significant populations found in only four countries. According to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, coffee can help provide a solution since the beans thrive under the shade of a forest canopy as they grow in harmony with chimps. Coffee farming gives farmers an incentive to preserve the forest, and a chance at economic stability. “Our effort to involve local citizens in restoring the forests and practicing sustainable agriculture is the most important work we can do to ensure a future for the Gombe chimpanzees and the people of Africa,” said Dr. Goodall.

The taste of “Gombe Reserve” has floral top notes and vibrant flavors of tropical fruit, according to Lindsey Bolger, director of coffee sourcing and relationships for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. “Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has always had a values-driven approach to coffee, believing that coffee can help the greater good. We’re thrilled to work with the Jane Goodall Institute to bring this great coffee to market and, ultimately, protect the chimps,” she said. “Gombe Reserve — In Cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute” will be available for a limited time online at www.GreenMountainCoffee.com/Gombe. The 12-oz. bag sells for $17.95.

Training on Licensing Underway for Coffee Growers

Africa – According to a report published by The Daily Monitor, Ethiopian coffee growers and exporters are being trained on licensing in a workshop intended to educate them on all there is to know about negotiations and subsequent agreements made in the context of the international coffee market.

The Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office in collaboration with various partners, is hosting the training to equip coffee growers and marketers with current understanding of the trade marketing, licensing initiative and to promote the license agreement to international coffee distributing companies.

The four-day program also aims to develop and bring together a network of licensed distributors in partnership with Ethiopia. Over the last two years, EIPO, in collaboration with local and international partners, has endeavored to secure trade licenses for Ethiopian quality in a bid to boost foreign currency earnings.

Addressing the workshop, State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Yakob Yala, highlighted the need for strenghtened interlectual capacity and for preparing to cope up with the increasingly dynamic international market. “We must have the confidence and the full knowledge of our rights, our powers, and our options as we approach our buyers overseas to join our network of licensed distributors,” he said. “While using trademarks and licensing agreements is a common enough affair in many international industries and global distribution chains, it is surprisingly, almost unprecedented in coffee,” the State Minister added.

The training program is part of the Ethiopian Coffee Trade marking and Licensing Initiative spearheaded by EIPO and supported by the U.K. Department of International Development.

Naturland Certified Tea Cultivation Area Increases

India – Naturland promoter of organic agriculture throughout the world with 46,000 farmers, it is one of the major organic farming associations. Naturland regards organic competence and social responsibility as interdependent.

This year Naturland records a growth of over 45 % in the tea-growing areas it certifies, to around 6,000 hectares, increasing the total amount of tea certified by Naturland to 3,000 tons. The total export figures from India to Germany are just twice that amount. All the 12 new tea gardens, each with an average area of 160 hectares, lie in the famous tea growing area of Darjeeling, in India. In the hilly areas of the southern slopes of the Himalayas the intense mountain sunlight and cool nights ripen the finest teas in the world. Five of the twelve tea gardens are still in the conversion stage. For permanent crops such as tea, this can take up to three years. “Twenty years ago we started with the conversion of the first ever organic tea garden in the world, in Sri Lanka. This was a courageous step to take and a groundbreaking project for organic tea cultivation. Today the informed gourmet takes organic tea, be it green or black, for granted,” comments Hans Hohenester, president of Naturland’s steering committee, on the recent increase in figures.

Global Warming Poses a Threat to World Coffee Crops

Australia - According to a report on Radio Australia, global warming now poses as a threat to future world coffee crops with rising temperatures and drought likely to force some producers to seek higher and cooler land. A study conducted by Licht's International Coffee Report says global warming is going to present the world's coffee growers with a big challenge.

The study also notes a United Nations Environment Program research project in Uganda which says a rise in temperatures of about two degrees Celsius will mean a dramatic reduction in the coffee growing area.

In India's Coorg coffee region, rising temperatures and reduced rainfall will reduce the number of bees to fertilize the trees and increase the threat from a destructive pests.

Tea & Coffee - May, 2007

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