At the start of 2021, Mongabay connected with Sjoerd Panhuysen, lead author of the biennial Coffee Barometer report for Ethos Agriculture, to discuss the present and future of sustainable coffee. The following interview has been lightly edited for style and clarity. Mongabay: As the world gains incremental distance from the pandemic and its myriad ripple effects in 2021, is there good news or bad news for environmentally conscious coffee drinkers? Sjoerd Panhuysen: There is a wealth of choice in environmentally friendly produced coffee. However, as the size of the coffee economy increases relative to its agricultural resource base, it becomes even more urgent to manage the ecosystems, biodiversity and forests in coffee producing countries. What’s currently the greatest challenge when thinking in terms of sustainability for coffee at all levels — from growth to production to consumption?  The main challenge is to redistribute the value in the coffee sector more evenly. For example, currently coffee-exporting countries only capture 10% of the coffee category value. The dire situation of many coffee farmers operating well below the poverty line due to a long period of low coffee prices and rising production costs is in stark contrast with the booming revenues of major roasters and retailers in the coffee-consuming countries. Coffee flowers blooming in April. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay. Is the industry a whole sustainable, or there are pockets of sustainable practices?  Sustainability is not an end goal, it’s a continuous improvement process. There are coffee regions that are doing significantly better…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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