b"In their exploration of coffee bean varie-ties, the researchers found that cooperative networks guided farmers toward breeds that already had established markets. Notably, Arabica coffeea valuable self-pollinating breed often prized over its counterparts Robusta stood out, making cultivation more accessible and sustainable.There is a better market for Arabica, but, as it is self-pollinated, there were more doubts about whether it would ben-efit from pollination, like Robusta, which is dependent on pollination. We found that it did, substantially.Moreover, the team uncovered a fas-cinating connection between forests and coffee productivity. Having 20% to 30% forest cover within the landscape signifi-cantly increased coffee yields, highlight-ing the importance of preserving native biodiversity and essential ecosystem services like pollination and pest control.While Francisco's research offers hope and inspiration, it also brings attention to the pressing issue of climate change. Rising temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns pose significant threats to coffee production, especially in Brazil's mountainous regions, where cultivation thrives at altitudes around 800-1,200 meters, he says. Farmers may need to explore higher altitudes to adapt and safeguard the future of coffee.Sustainability in ActionIn the broader context of Latin America's coffee industry, sustainable practices are essential. Organizations like De La Gente play a crucial role in support- Danilo Rodriguez is director of operations at De La Gente.ing and empowering small-scale coffee producers. De La Gente is a non-profit that works with eight coffee coopera- By supporting them in this way, they canquality coffee grows, initiatives like De La tives, providing improved market accessbetter provide for their families and buildGente's become vital in preserving Latin for farmers while delivering a high-qualitysustainable livelihoods. America's position as the world's top product to roasters and consumers. But challenges remain, particularly incoffee producer.We work tirelessly to facilitate theseensuring fair compensation for farmers.To secure a sustainable future, De relationships and ensure that the farmersBy giving them a voice during price nego- La Gente actively addresses the impact receive fair compensation for the coffeetiations, understanding production costs,of climate change on coffee produc-they produce, says Danilo Rodriguez,and valuing their work, the industry cantion, working with farmers to implement director of operations at De La Gente. foster a more equitable and sustainableresilient practices. By valuing the work of In addition to commercialization, Defuture, he notes. coffee farmers and supporting sustain-La Gente provides assistance to empowerThe exceptional quality of coffeeable initiatives, consumers play a pivotal producers.produced by small-scale farmers, oftenrole in shaping a prosperous future for Our goal is to enable them not only tocategorized as specialty coffee, hasLatin America's coffee industry, safe-do business with our organization but alsodrawn global interest. As consumerguarding its natural riches for generations with other companies and organizations.demand for ethically sourced and high- to come.SW70/ SEEDWORLD.COMINTERNATIONAL EDITION 2024"