How much funding is provided by the coffee industry for research on the health benefits of coffee?

I came across a statistic that surprised me by its meagerness. According to their website, the National Coffee Association USA has spent $6 million on research funding over the last 20 or so years. The NCAUSA cites 80 specific investigations that they funded. (I don't know if the trend is up or down over the two decades.)

From reading Antony Wild's Coffee: A Dark History a few years ago, it was my impression that the coffee industry sets great importance on demonstrable health benefits. See in particular Chapt. 14, Coffee, Science and History.

The book mentions specifically the Vanderbilt Institute for Coffee Studies as funded by "a $6 million grant from the coffee industry" to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 1999. (In 2007 the Institute moved its affiliation from the Medical Center to the Vanderbilt Center for Latin American Studies, but continues investigating "the health effects of coffee consumption, including potential therapeutic uses".) While some of this funding came from NCAUSA, it appears the bulk came from the Association of Coffee Producing Countries (ACPC), with additional funding by the All Japan Coffee Association and the International Coffee Organization.

The global coffee commodity market has annual sales well-up in the tens of billions($), so I would expect more in annual research funding than the average $300K/yr reported by NCAUSA.

Added: Apparently it is difficult for coffee trade associations to survive. The NCAUSA cited above is ancient in comparison to other organizations mentioned. The Association of Coffee Producing Countries (ACPC) began in 1993 with a model of OPEC-like price supports through agreed upon limitations of exports, but dissolved at the beginning of 2002. So a dimension of this topic is the limited degree to which coffee producers and manufacturers are able to cooperate.

  • 2
    Looks like there's controversy over your question. I think you're asking about the ~1000x discrepancy in funding that you perceive. As an example of articles written, here's a Google Scholar search that includes a few hundred articles that have both "coffee" and "health" in the title. A quick scan seems to indicate myriad funding sources, from universities to special interest groups and everywhere in between. Can you clarify what you're asking, perhaps by citing some passages from the book or what leads you to this impression?
    – hoc_age
    Mar 5, 2015 at 1:54
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    I've voted to keep, since hardmath is a sensible user and wouldn't ask random questions.
    – qedk
    Mar 5, 2015 at 5:02
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    "Controversy" was perhaps a stronger word than warranted for close- and down-votes; I cast neither but agreed with both. No comments had been left. I was merely trying to help you clarify; I apologise if my comment was unhelpful. Your question isn't phrased in the form of a question; are you asking, "Who funds health-related coffee studies?"
    – hoc_age
    Mar 5, 2015 at 11:33
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    @therewillbecoffee - I don't mean to sound didactic, but votes apply to questions, not users! I wouldn't expect (nor interpret) down- nor close-votes (nor *up-*votes, for that matter) as commentary on the user. The fact that hardmath is a sensible and high-rep user hasn't anything to do with this.
    – hoc_age
    Mar 5, 2015 at 11:35
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    @hoc_age: Thanks, I appreciated that your comments were intended to provide context for the down/close vote cast by someone else.
    – hardmath
    Mar 5, 2015 at 12:49


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