STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 3, Number 1

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6 STiR tea & coffee industry international © 2014 October Multimedia Inc. STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International is published bi monthly in January, March, May, July, September and November by October Multi- media Co., Ltd., with production and distribution overseen by October Inter Co., Ltd., 1126/2 New Petchburi Road, Vanit Bldg. 2 Room 1403A, Bangkok 10400 THAILAND. Tel +66 22 55 66 25, Fax +66 26 55 22 11 E-mail: Visit: for the latest news. I From the Editor Editor & Publisher Glenn Anthony John Managing Editor Dan Bolton Art Director Somjet Thitasomboon Tea Correspondent Jane Pettigrew Coffee Correspondent Jenny Neill Contributing Writers Lindsey Goodwin Sherri Johns Alf Kramer Larry Luxner Sunalini Menon Katrina Munichiello Helen Xu Fei Translations (Chinese) Helen Xu Fei Director, October Inter Co., Ltd. Boonthin Tubsongkroh Exhibitions Manager/Office Manager Sayaporn Wattanaking Websites/IT Manager Siriporn Phutthachan Sales Director Emerson Leonard Sales Representatives Jonathan W. Bell Chris Michaelides Editorial/Circulation Offices STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International c/o October Inter Co. Ltd. Vanit Building 2, Room 1403A 1126/2 New Petchburi Rd. Bangkok 10400 THAILAND Tel +66 2255 6625 Fax +66 2655 2211 Published by: A Member of: La Roya Counterpunch n his excellent Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) webinar hosted by the National Coffee Associa- tion, Ronald Peters Seevers warned that "coffee rust's first punch is not so hard as the second (if not controlled properly)." Seevers is executive director, Instituto del Café de Costa Rica (ICAFE), a non-governmental organization responsible for guaranteeing an equitable coffee industry in Costa Rica. Rust has cost Central American growers more than $500 million during the recent harvest, destroying 20% of the crop and continues to threaten 395,000 producers and 500,000 in- dividuals who make their living in the coffee trade. Sixty four percent of the coffee pro- ducing regions are affected with 80% of the coffee in these lands susceptible to CLR. See Coping with Rust on Pg. 22 to learn the harm it does to cupping scores. CLR is a long-time scourge of coffee growers. It has advanced like a dark shadow to wipe out Arabica trees since the fungus was first reported in Kenya in 1861. It wiped out entire coffee industries in Sri Lanka and the Philippines before reaching Brazil in 1970. It has since spread to Colombia and Peru and Mexico. La roya, as it is called in Spanish, first appeared in Central America in 1976 and remained largely under control as it was only found at low altitudes where few Arabica trees are planted. The reason it hit growers so hard last year is because rainfall was intermittent, the range of temperatures varied from the norm and shifting wind patterns sent spores into high altitude growing regions. A single CLR lesion produces 400,000 spores over three to five months. Farmers who did not understand its life-cycle were not prepared with the necessary fungi- cides and fertilizer to prevent its spread. "There is no cookie cutter approach" to battling Roya, explained Seever. Success in combat- ting the fungus depends on the varietal and the age of the trees, microclimate, moisture, altitude and soils. It is essential to give the plants nutrition at just the right time. Seevers said he was astounded to find Costa Rican farms as high as 4,000 feet infected. He predicted growers will be much better prepared in 2014. A counterpunch in boxing immediately follows an attack, exploiting an opening created in an opponent's guard. Since altitude is no longer a barrier, roasters of all sizes, government and non-profits must act quickly to provide farmers with fungicides and advice on the application of fertilizer to protect flavor quality. Plummeting coffee prices come at the worst possible time as it robs growers and cooperatives the ability to finance the fight. This is why the private sector must rally to deliver a counterpunch. Buyers must offer a sus- tainable base price, investing in the future so that in the future roasters will have the quality they require. Immediate action will limit losses to an estimated 1.6 million bags in the 2013- 14 harvest, and even less in future years as genetic stock that is resistant to rust, such as the Castillo and Caturra hybrids, replace the most vulnerable trees. Now is the moment to strike back hard.

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