Aubry Acosta
For the QC

Whether you are interested in the sustainability of coffee, the complexity of its supply chain, or the economic market of coffee, WC’s Coffee Speaker Series relates to it all! Tomorrow, Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m., the Coffee Speaker Series will feature two members of RGC Coffee: President Nathalie Gabbay and Sustainability Manager Angela Pelaez. The goal of the series is to depict coffee through a wide lens, and the conversation aims to express coffee through an academic lens in relation to the private sector. By doing this, students will learn about the career opportunities that branch out from coffee with an emphasis on sustainability. The speaker series aims to be a converging point for a wide array of passions and fields of study which will focus on the new market of coffee in Southern California.   

Recently, Southern California has begun growing coffee. Thus, jobs pertaining to sustainability, agriculture, and research have become widely available in this new field. This agricultural expansion is promising in several ways. For starters, coffee is a plant which remains after the harvest season. Only the coffee beans are harvested, which allows for a single coffee plant to produce product for several years, making coffee a sustainable crop. Coffee plants help reduce carbon in the air as well. As a product that is in high demand in California, the growth of the coffee market seems promising.

Furthermore, the growth of coffee and coffee orchards allow Southern Californians to view coffee through a new lens. As Associate Professor of Environmental Science Dr. Cinzia Fissore, who received a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, stated, “We think of coffee as a drink; now, we will see it as a plant.” Coffee is normally outsourced to Latin America or other countries, so, as consumers, we rarely perceive coffee as anything other than our go-to drink in the morning. Whittier College recently planted a pilot coffee orchard on campus, which will allow students to have hands-on experience with the research of coffee and its sustainability. Through the A.V. Davis grant, Whittier College has been able to branch out into a new agricultural field of study: the study of coffee.

Since receiving the grant, Whittier College has begun researching the sustainability of coffee at an interdisciplinary level. The research on coffee is pertinent in fields ranging from history, gender studies, cultural studies, business, and economic standpoints. This research has expanded Whittier College’s visibility, which benefits former and current students. Through the AV Davis grant, paid internships and fellowships have been created for current students in any major. A large sense of community is being built through this research, as alumni and students are gravitating towards relating their areas of study to the newly created agricultural market of coffee in Southern California. 

Whether you are a coffee lover or someone who is interested in sustainability, check out the Coffee Speaker Series meeting at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow using the following information:

Zoom Link: 

Meeting ID: 914 3716 8594
Passcode: 040308


Featured Image: Courtesy of Pixabay


In collaboration by Quaker Campus staff members.
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