The Journal of AOAC International released a study on 18 March, into fingerprinting the DNA of Arabica Coffee. The study found that a majority of both farmers and seed nurseries do not know what variety they are planting.
The impact is that without knowing or controlling what is being grown, farmers miss out on improved variants that have significant disease-fighting properties. Coffee roasters also will be able to rely on the information they’re given and pass on in their marketing.
Sustainability in coffee farming has been a priority for the industry for a number of years, yet without knowing the variety of coffee they’re planting, farmers will be unable to avoid serious diseases such as coffee leaf rust.
The study is based on the following categories of Arabica:
To quote the authors in the study “DNA fingerprinting provides different actors in the coffee sector with a powerful new tool—farmers can verify the identity of their cultivated varieties, coffee roasters can be assured that marketing claims related to varieties are correct, and most of all, those looking to establish a more professional and reliable coffee seed sector have a reliable new monitoring tool to establish and check genetic purity of seed stock and nursery plants.”