WCR CEO Jennifer “Vern” Long on why ‘action’ will be the theme of 2022

Each year GCR invites industry leaders to share their hopes, fears and expectations for the year ahead, in what is expected to be one of rejuvenation and unity for the global coffee market. 

2022 will be remembered as the year when we moved from words to action. The stark reality of the climate crisis will be in full view in 2022 – and we’ll be facing down only eight more years until the 2030 deadline to achieve the world’s sustainable development goals. The hopeful part is there’s been much reflection over the past year to prepare the coffee community for action in 2022. Collective action networks in coffee, from the launch of the International Trade Centre Coffee Guide to taskforces convened by the International Coffee Organization, have consolidated our knowledge as a community. We’re ready to move this shared commitment forward to action across multiple domains – from climate action specifically to sectoral transformation to achieve our social, environmental and economic sustainability goals. We all realise that decisive steps are critical, as the consequences of delaying action on climate may lead to the kinds of unprecedented disruption we’ve experienced with the global pandemic. 

Investments in science and technology over the past few decades have generated critical tools, from improved coffee varieties, like Uganda’s coffee wilt disease resistant Robusta varieties, to methods for calculating carbon footprints. These are all tools that we can use right now to help farmers adapt to climate change or guide our choices to achieve our mitigation goals. 

The theme of 2022 will be action. Taking what we have, making the most of it and moving forward. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t reemphasise the importance of science and technology in giving us options to support our shared agenda. As the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 have reminded us, science and technology investments must continue to stay abreast of the challenge, but we can use what we have now to make progress. And we will.

This article was first published in the January/February 2022 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.

Send this to a friend