Q&A with WCR Board Member Carlos Lopez

As a recently added World Coffee Research (WCR) board member, Carlos Lopez had the opportunity to attend the organization’s board meeting in Dublin this summer. Here, we’ve asked him a few questions about WCR, his experience and insight on the organization’s future.

What is World Coffee Research (WCR)?

WCR is a non-profit, collaborative research and development program that supports the global coffee industry.

What are WCR’s goals?

The organization’s mission is to grow, protect and enhance supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it.

We know that these livelihoods, and the businesses that rely on farmers to grow great coffee, are urgently threatened by climate change, low yields, diseases and pests, and barriers to quality. The WCR believes that the most efficient way to solve these complex problems is through collaborative, scientific research and development.

What is your role as a board member?

I will serve a three-year term with WCR, helping to set the vision and direction for the organization, giving operational guidance and making decisions on the scope of research and programming.

What was the purpose of the meeting in Dublin?

In addition to some usual board business, this meeting was an opportunity for us to discuss the organization’s future strategy and direction. Since it was started in 2012, WCR has progressed tremendously through its start-up and is now entering its next phase of a more defined organization. We spent time as a group focusing on clarifying the strategy and aligning initiatives with it. From there, we moved into more specific topics, such as the organizational structure needed to support the future direction.

Overall, I’m extremely impressed with the advancements and progress WCR has made in less than four years, and we’re looking to build on that success moving forward.

What do you see for the future of the organization?

From our meeting, I have identified two main areas of growth. First, that WCR will expand its scope of scientific research. Second, that we will be increasing our focus on industry collaboration to help achieve greater, more unified results. When coffee organizations understand the value the WCR brings to our industry, they not only are more likely to participate — whether financially, by donating resources or support through collaboration — but they also help to extend the message of the organization through their involvement. This increased reach helps us to have a greater impact on our collective future.

What was your biggest takeaway from the meeting?

It is obvious to me that through its important research and strategic partnerships, WCR will have a critical and long-lasting impact on the coffee industry.


Learn more about S&D’s involvement in leading industry organizations in the 2015 Sustainability Report.