Beyond The Source – The Co-Benefits Of Water-Smart Farm Practices

Last August (time is flying) we posted a summary of the Specialty Coffee Association’s Blueprint for Water Security in the Coffeelands.

That paper presented 6 recommendations “to support action by coffee stakeholders committed to increasing water security at origin”. I want to highlight one of the key SCA recommendations, and how it links to an exciting new report on water security.

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Coffee’s Water Footprint Needs To Be Revised

The Measure of Coffee’s Water Footprint Needs to Be Revised

This 2003 study on coffee’s water footprint reported that it requires 140 liters of water to produce one cup of coffee. This metric is quoted so frequently (including by this blog) that it’s almost assumed to be a fact.

However, the study needs a critical review because it is based on some critical conceptual and methodological flaws. These flaws distort our understanding of coffee’s impact on water resources, and may mislead management and policy decisions within the coffee industry.

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