Green Coffee trading company Caravela Coffee has donated $200,000 to the Center for Coffee Research and Education at Texas A&M, jumpstarting a formal partnership between the two organizations.
The academic partnership will focus on education and resources both for coffee roasters in the United States, as well as for coffee producers in the developing world, coffee quality experts and other actors in the “highly interwoven supply chains of coffee,” according to Caravela.
The certified B Corp coffee company — which specializes in providing coffees from key Latin American countries to major import markets such as the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia — cited its in-house farmer education program, known as PECA, as an impetus for the academic partnership.
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The Texas A&M Center for Coffee Research and Education was established in 2016 within the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. Since the early 2000s, numerous studies and programs carried out by the institute have focused on agricultural development and farmer-focused issues in the coffee sector.
The institute’s two major multi-year projects since 2006 received funding from USAID.
Caravela said the first initiatives of the partnership will be to develop a syllabus for roasters to strengthen their business knowledge, including knowledge of countries of origin; to build coffee extension services with virtual courses and certificates for coffee farmers and roasters at origin; and to engage in R&D with faculty and students to generate scientific knowledge that may be used to enhance farmer incomes and sustainable practices.
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