The Blog

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Green Water, in Practice

A few years ago, I asked a farmer in the “dry corridor” of eastern El Salvador what he would do to improve water management if he were the donor funding our project. He pointed up at the hills and said, “During the wet season, there are torrents of rain that come down this mountain. The vast […]

The Direct Trade-v-Fair Trade debate resurfaced here last week.  I weighed in on that debate here yesterday. Today I want to explore a related idea: that the leading proponents of these two trading models may have communicated themselves into corners from which they can’t easily extricate themselves even though they desperately need to. Direct Trade […]

Apples and Oranges

When the Fair World Project published this comparison of select brands in the U.S. coffee market last year, I was sorely tempted to respond here. To explain publicly what was happening privately: that I was being asked by Fair Trade roasters in the upper tiers to arrange meetings with Direct Trade roasters in lower tiers […]