Today was a very short day – people are heading out to catch planes, though I am here in Texas til Sunday evening. The purpose of today was to wrap up the event, and to look at how we move forwards from here. The next stage is incredibly important for me, because there is still a part of me (a much smaller part than three days ago) that thinks this won’t happen. I need something tangible soon, and I am sure I am not alone.
We talked about what would be necessary for “buy in” (I don’t really like that phrase but I can’t think of another). I will summarise my thoughts and why I will be committing to this project:
For a small roaster, I think it is a very easy decision. The amounts of money are pretty small (it cost me more to attend the congress than we would donate in a year). We, as a roastery, don’t have a worthwhile budget for green coffee R&D. However we can contribute to getting some decent, peer reviewed, high quality research done. I don’t think there is any coherent argument against the need for research into coffee quality – regardless of the ebb and flow of global supply and demand.
I’m not going to dismiss small donations, because if you took the contributions of everyone in – for example – the roasters guild then you’d have a serious amount of cash. Of course we’d need contributions from much larger entities, but they also have the greatest needs.
You could, of course, choose to take the free ride. If this goes ahead then I am sure many will. It will cost you nothing, and you’ll see all the information that will (must) enter the public domain as a result of this. You could choose to do your own thing, keep it proprietary even. Fair enough.
We’re all in coffee for different reasons, but I would hope there is a common thread throughout where we’d like to see coffee get better. We want to see greater sustainability in the production of coffee, from the ecological to the economic. This is a way to be involved in change, in important work, that has a very low barrier of entry but with enough support can do something potential incredible.
I’m not too concerned about this project not delivering relevant research. While the board structure is going to be massively important in this project’s success, I think there are easily enough topics of research out there that benefit absolutely everyone (defects like potato and phenol being obvious example – but as is shelf life of green coffee, and its relationship to the drying process).
I know that this is an SCAA driven project. For its success I sincerely hope that people accept that the G in GCQRI stands for global. We need roasters across the world to get involved in this. We also need brokers across the world to be involved in this. For anyone, anywhere in the world, the potential ROI is pretty good.
I know this probably reads like an over-enthusiastic endorsement, and I think to counter that I’d really like to hear people’s questions and comments – especially those outside the US who might consider taking part. I don’t speak for the GCQRI at all – I just want to continue the discussion and debate.