David Browning on Using Technology to Help Smallholder Farmers | Re:co Symposium 2019

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Today, we’re very happy to present the fifth episode of “Cost of Production and Profitability for Coffee Producers,” a session recorded at Re:co Symposium this past April. Buyers and producers alike need to understand what it takes to produce specialty coffee so that it can be produced sustainably, so we convened experts to ask: Do we really know what specialty coffee costs? 

If you haven’t seen the previous episodes in this series, we strongly recommend going back to watch before you continue with this episode. 

In today’s episode, speaker David Browning looks into some of the important empirical underpinnings of the coffee industry: How many coffee farms are there? How many of the world’s farmers are smallholders? How valuable is the coffee industry? Sharing results from robust statistical research conducted by Enveritas across 20 countries, David looks anew at coffee industry facts as we know them.

Special Thanks to Toddy 

This talk from Re:co Boston is supported by Toddy. For over 50 years, Toddy brand cold brew systems have delighted baristas, food critics, and regular folks alike. By extracting all the natural and delicious flavors of coffee and tea, Toddy Cold Brew Systems turn your favorite coffee beans and tea leaves into fresh cold brew concentrates, that are ready to serve and enjoy. Learn more about Toddy at http://www.toddycafe.com.

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Table of Contents

0:00 Introduction
2:30 There is no reputable study that has counted the number of coffee farms in the world
5:15 David’s details his research methodology for getting an accurate number
9:30 The results of David’s study, revealing there are likely 12.5 million coffee farms, of which two-thirds are smallholders.
11:00 Why it’s important to have accurate data to resolve issues in the coffee world.
18:50 It’s important to challenge coffee’s status quo because history will probably judge you harshly for working in an industry that causes suffering
23:45 Outro