Monthly Archives: April 2010

40. Climate change: Coffee Under Pressure

2010-04-29 No Comments

We have partnering with CIAT (the International Center for Tropical Agriculture) to implement a climate change adaptation project with funding from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Coffee Under Pressure: Climate Change and Adaptation in Mesoamerica (or CUP for short) is helping farmers assess their own vulnerability to climate change and adapt to changing conditions on the ground. We also hope this modest project can show a way forward in the ongoing search for cost-effective, scalable ways to bring actionable climate change research to smallholder farmers.

39. Climate change and the “core business model”

2010-04-26 1 Comment

I met at SCAA with Thanksgiving Coffee President Ben Corey-Moran, who explained that the company will be focusing more moving forward on its “core business model.” As it turns out, his concept of the company’s core business model includes innovative partnerships with NGOs in East Africa to create incentives for effective climate change mitigation and adaptation. It seems the concept of the “core business model” in the coffee industry may be evolving.

38. The Juan Ana Coffee Project

2010-04-23 1 Comment

The Juan Ana Coffee project in San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala, is beautiful in more ways than you can count, beginning with its name.  “Juan” was John, the late father of Fr. Gregory Shaffer, pastor of the San Lucas Mission for the past 45 years.  “Ana” was Ann, Fr. Greg’s mother.  They both passed away at […]

37. The San Lucas Mission

2010-04-21 No Comments

In San Lucas Tolimán, on the shores of the breathtaking Lake Atitlán, there is a very special mission parish, led by a very special priest — Father Greg Schaffer of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, known affectionately here as Padre Gregorio. It is so special, we decided to have our son George baptized there.

36. Hunger in the coffeelands presentation

2010-04-19 Comments

A number of people who attended the Hunger in the Coffeelands panel at SCAA on Saturday asked for a copy of my presentation. Here it is.

35. A farmer’s guide to SCAA

2010-04-16 No Comments

When I recently tried to summarize SCAA for CRS staff and partners in the coffeelands, I realized just what a circus SCAA really is! That’s why we asked our CAFE Livelihoods partner Cooperative Coffees to help us create a farmer’s guide to the event.

34. SCAA preview – Moving beyond coffee

2010-04-15 No Comments

Many of the threats to the sustainable coffee enterprise arise from beyond the coffee chain itself. Some of these threats, like climate change, are new. Others, like hunger in the coffeelands, are not. In all cases, they require a new kind of engagment and new investments at origin to create a truly sustainable trade in coffee.

33. Getting to SCAA

2010-04-14 No Comments

I made the long trip today from the coffeelands to SCAA, but I was far from the only one. Thousands of people connected in one way or another to the coffee trade — from farmers to financial services providers, brokers to baristas and syrup manufacturers to supply chain consultants — continued to trickle into Anaheim.

32. SCAA preview – A sustainability framework

No Comments

Over the past few days I have highlighted some of the leading causes of food insecurity and preferred strategies for coping with hunger — issues I will present during Saturday’s Hunger in the Coffeelands panel at SCAA. If you read those posts, you know that the issue of food insecurity is complicated. Today I share some reflections on a framework for sustainable development that tries to make sense of it all.

31. “Food Security Solutions”

2010-04-13 No Comments

Sustainable Harvest yesterday announced it is convening Food Security Solutions from 9-12 June in Nicaragua. The event is a four-day farmer-focused training forum designed to provide actionable information to coffee farming families fighting hunger. To its credit, Sustainable Harvest has chosen not to run from an unfamiliar issue, but rather to engage it decisively.