[Homeroast] GCQRI ???

Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com
Fri Oct 29 20:47:43 CDT 2010

Good points - On nestle: Yes Ed, and if we do nothing, coffee farmers 
who currently cultivate with Typica and Bourbon and Caturra will 
eventually all have Catimor. Most of the push toward catimor types 
comes from the in-country research facilities and agronomists because 
they are trying to save coffee farmers from going belly up. It's 
completly understandable. Nestle sees themselves as heroes with this 
plant distribution effort. And for a farmer at 800 meters or 1000 
meters, they should absolutely plant catimors if their crop is pest 
and disease ravaged. They will use much less inputs with the right 
plant for that altitude and level of coffee quality. Right now we 
have a situation where starbucks has jumped the ship on quality and 
has moved to vietnam and crap brazil arabicas, and you have their 
competitors, Green Mountain, Caribou, those types, trying to stay 
with decent quality washed arabicas. In Colombia, much or Huila is 
just destroyed by coffee rust fungus, which requires at least 4 
fungicide applications to fight. Most of the 1100-1200 meter farms 
are wiped out. Farmers push further and further up into the mountains 
to avoid rust, and they can for a while, but eventually it follows. 
One of the things on the table is to tap the incredible diversity of 
native Ethiopia coffee types, which represents something like 90% of 
the genetic diversity in coffee (cultivated types are extremely 
heterogenous) to find disease resistance in a pure arabica with cup 
quality. This would use genetics for identification and rapid 
propagation, but not gene splicing manipulations. Hows that for a new 
answer to this coffee rust crisis? If you went there and saw how 
dramatic the problem is ... its shocking really. One thing with this 
initiative is to get a no GMO standard in there (I can't see anyone 
except the geneticists advocating for it - its not going to happen). 
The other thing I really want to see is a metric to measure potential 
research that states a project will "Increase the value of coffee at 
the Farm Gate." If a project scores well in that, it means a world of 
good for the farm: higher incomes, potentially less competition with 
food crops, better use of land etc).

One thing that 10 years ago I would not go for, but I do now, is 
increased production. Sustainable increase in production from each 
plant, paired with an increase in quality. The wine industry proved 
years ago you can have good production and improve quality at the 
same time. Low production = Quality is a myth. Low production from 
plants is the bane of the farmers existence, literally relegating 
them to a poverty cycle, to overtax their land for other uses, to 
overuse fertilizers, or to quit coffee altogether. In Harar I saw 
coffee with literally 80 or 100 cherries per tree, and half of those 
falling off green due to CBD. In that village I saw incredible 
poverty, malnutrition, and coffee interplanted with corn and cabbage 
(which will rob both food crops and coffee from nutrients), lack of 
water (too much given to crops, their well was nearly dry). So the 
need is not hypothetical at all. Besides basic extentsion work by 
agronomists and financing for their crops (neither of which this 
Initiative covers exactly) there ARE research solutions that result 
in better coffee for us and better lives for farmers in situations 
like this.

Well, that's just a few disorganized thoughts I have on this topic... 
on the flight home. Wifi on an airplane, just $5. Kinda odd, but 
quite useful too!  Thanks for your comments on this. I am glad we all 
care about these issues so much. By the way, if you don't mind I 
might paste this onto the coffeed thread because it raises good 
points -Tom

>Nestle's GM coffee plantlets,
>"We will distribute 220 million high-yielding, disease-resistant
>coffee plantlets to farmers by 2020, through partnerships with public
>and private institutions in countries such as Mexico, Thailand,
>Indonesia and the Philippines, where we have already distributed over
>16 million coffee plantlets in the past ten years."
>On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM, Edward Bourgeois
><edbourgeois at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  Yes, I'm skeptical of the intentions of some of the players. Once
>>  bitten twice shy.  Unless something has changed in the past couple
>>  years the Dr. N. Borlaug institute has not been a haven for organic
>>  researchers. Norman was not a believer of organic production. Nor did
>>  he believe many of the concerns having to do with industrial
>>  ag.production or GM plants. I think it is as important for the group
>>  to determine  what directions they won't go as it is what research
>>  they will start to explore.
>>  On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 10:37 AM, Edward Bourgeois
>>  <edbourgeois at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>  Ray
>>>  As far as I can tell, musac has not been taken off the list of 
>>>  On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 1:49 AM,  <raymanowen at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>  Monsanto Chair- Is it a heavy ceramic thing with a lever? Even with all
>>>>  membrane technology, it will still be * * * *.
>>>>  The Nobel Prize is being obscured as the most prestigious award in its
>>>>  field. Can you see the Nobel Prize for the Most Engineered Stable Coffee
>>>>  Origins, or Roundup fertilizer, "When Performance Counts."
>>>>  When Elvis and the Beatles were "It," I preferred the crunch of 
>>>>coffee beans
>>>>  in the mouth to the vacuum-brewed coffee I brewed for my folks. 
>>>>(Wonder why
>>>>  they both liked cream- from a cream separator- and sugar?)
>>>>  My record collection included "Jailhouse Rock" on a 78, "the Nut-Cracker"
>>>>  suite on some 45 rpm EP's, Khachaturian's piano concerto and several
>>>>  different performances of Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite on 33-1/3 
>>>>rpm LP's. Not
>>>>  PC. No prize, but I like it.
>>>>  Cheers, Mabuhay, Iechyd da -RayO, aka Opa!
>>>>  On Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 11:01 PM, Edward Bourgeois 
>>>><edbourgeois at gmail.com>wrote:
>>>>>  The Borlaug Institute
>>>>>  Monsanto has donated $2.5 million to Texas A&M University to fund the
>>>>>  Borlaug-Monsanto Chair for Plant Breeding and International Crop
>>>>>  Improvement. The chair is named in honor of Norman Borlaug who won the
>>>>>  1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in plant breeding.
>>>>>  On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 12:57 AM, Edward Bourgeois
>>>>>  <edbourgeois at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>  > So they're genome mapping coffee. They're wondering why some varietals
>>>>>  > have good results in many areas. No mention of soil health. Sounds
>>>>>  > like the start of a outside inputs based and controlled system. Farmer
>>>>>  > must be under contract and are forced to plant certain (gm?) seeds,
>>>>>  > use certain fertilizers/supplements/pest controllers etc. Quality and
>>>>>  > consistency will improve, sort of. You may be able to grow Kenyan and
>>>>>  > Colombian on the same farm in Florida if they take it far enough. Oh
>>>>>  > happy day.
>>>>>  > So what if there's nothing from a blueberry in a Krispy kreme
>>>>>  > blueberry doughnut.
>>>>>  > --
>>>>>  > Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>>>>  > Amherst MA.
>>>>>  > http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>>>>>  >
>>>>>  --
>>>>>  Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>>>>  Amherst MA.
>>>>>  http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>>>>>  _______________________________________________
>>>>>  Homeroast mailing list
>>>>>  Homeroast at host.sweetmariascoffee.com
>>>>>  Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :
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>>>>  --
>>>>  Persist in old ways; expect new results - suborn Insanity...
>>>>  _______________________________________________
>>>>  Homeroast mailing list
>>>>  Homeroast at host.sweetmariascoffee.com
>>>>  Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) : 
>>>  --
>>>  Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>>  Amherst MA.
>>>  http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>>  --
>>  Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>>  Amherst MA.
>>  http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>Amherst MA.
>Homeroast mailing list
>Homeroast at host.sweetmariascoffee.com
>Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) : 


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               Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
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