01 Aug 2019

Crop Trust

FELCO is proud to partner with Crop Trust and to support a study which will help ensure the long-term conservation and availability of the world’s only international coffee collection.

The future of the global coffee industry can be found in Turrialba, Costa Rica, where some 12,000 trees representing 11 coffee species are conserved by the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE).

For the past 70 years, the coffee collection at CATIE has served the coffee industry well, especially in Central America, where all rust-resistant coffee varieties can trace their origins to this ten-hectare field gene bank. Unfortunately, the CATIE coffee collection is at risk, due to aging trees, insufficient funding, and no backup system.

In order to address the many threats that the collection faces, the Crop Trust will lead an independent, in-depth study, with the support of FELCO, that will provide CATIE with a clear understanding of what they need to do to meet and maintain international standards in their coffee tree species conservation efforts.

The study will provide a comprehensive assessment of the status of CATIE’s coffee diversity collection. It will examine everything from the age of trees conserved, to safety duplication practices, to past and possible future levels of demand for each type by the coffee industry. The results will be used to recommend urgent, costed actions to ensure long-term conservation and availability of the collection.

Just like the FELCO 2 iconic prining shears, CATIE’s Coffee Collection celebrates its 70th birthday this year, and we want to help them safeguard this diversity for the next 700,” said Marie Haga, Executive Director of the Crop Trust.

"We are pleased that a company like FELCO is stepping up to support this crucial study, and we hope that others will follow their lead,” she added. “That cup of coffee that millions of us around the world enjoy every day depends on it."

The Crop Trust and the Global Conservation Strategy for Coffee Genetic Resources

The Crop Trust is an international organization working to support crop diversity conservation in genebanks, forever. Through investment income generated by its endowment fund, it provides financial support to international, regional and national genebanks, and the world’s backup facility, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. The Crop Trust’s global patron is His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. www.croptrust.org

The FELCO-funded in-depth study is the first concrete step to implement the Global Conservation Strategy for Coffee Genetic Resources. Developed by the Crop Trust in collaboration with World Coffee Research (WCR), the Strategy identifies four genebanks as the key custodians of the world’s diversity of coffee. Three of these are located in Africa: in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Madagascar. The fourth is CATIE’s International Coffee Collection. Together, they are referred to as the ‘Origin Collections’.

“The Crop Trust / FELCO in-depth study is the first step in what we anticipate will be a global collaboration that will benefit all those involved in the coffee industry. Without access to coffee diversity, the industry won’t be able to meet the growing global demand for coffee. And ultimately, failing to conserve this diversity over the long-term will have repercussions for the tens of millions of people in Latin America, Africa and Asia who depend on coffee for their livelihoods,” said Jennifer “Vern” Long, CEO of WCR, a non-profit collaborative research and development program of the global coffee industry.

FELCO 2 - a special anniversary series

FELCO’s most iconic secateurs is the FELCO 2. Since 1949, the year it was launched, more than 16 million units have been sold worldwide.  To celebrate its 70th anniversary, FELCO is releasing a FELCO 2 Limited Series; proceeds from its sales will help fund the Crop Trust / FELCO in-depth study.