Monthly Archives: November 2010

112. Quality, innovation and risk

2010-11-30 No Comments

The innovations that have potential to boost quality usually require up-front investment and involve some kind of risk. Unfortunately, most of that risk usally falls squarely on the shoulders of the people least able to bear it — smallholder farmers. We are supporting a pilot in Nicaragua that is heavy on quality-driven innovation and light on risk to farmers.

111. Fair Trade and social impact

2010-11-26 No Comments

Critics have seized on recent findings on hunger in the coffeelands as evidence of Fair Trade’s failure. I see it more as a failure to understand the complexities of hunger, to communicate appropriately and to set fair expectations for Fair Trade.

110. Coffee quality: Fair Trade’s competitive advantage

2010-11-25 No Comments

Yesterday I suggested that Fair Trade has little to do with quality on the roasting and retail end of the coffee chain. On the sourcing end, however, I believe that there are elements of the Fair Trade model that help certain Fair Trade roasters get a leg up on the competition.

109. Coffee quality: What’s Fair Trade got to do with it?

2010-11-24 Comments

I suggested yesterday that Fair Trade coffee is on a roll. I think it is important to reflect further on the relationship between Fair Trade and quality, as much of what accounts for coffee quality has nothing at all to do with Fair Trade

108. Fair Trade and coffee quality

2010-11-23 No Comments

Fair Trade roasters have taken the last two Roast Magazine Microroaster of the Year awards, while Fair Trade coffees got high praise in a feature in Coffee Review not too long ago. I have to agree with Kenneth Davids: Fair Trade coffee has indeed been “on a bit of a roll.”

107. ASOCAMPO – Chimaltenango, Guatemala

2010-11-16 Comments

ASOCAMPO – Asociación Campesina Pochuteca – is comprised of 112 members who are working to be able to give their children what their parents couldn’t give them – land to call their own.

106. Eating crow

2010-11-09 Comments

Back in May, Counter Culture Coffee owner, SCAA President and all-around coffee guru Peter Giuliano took me to task for some pretty lazy reporting. Today, I settle in for a heaping plate of crow.

105. The Coffeelands Blog turns 1

2010-11-04 Comments

Tomorrow, the CRS Coffeelands Blog turns 1. We won’t be able to publish the standard one-year-old birthday party picture of a wide-eyed baby with a face — and hands and hair and clothes — covered in icing and cake crumbs, but I did want to do something to observe the happy occasion.

104. “Post-production”

2010-11-02 No Comments

Since its creation nearly a year ago, this has been a humble blog with modest aims.  But today, I am making a radical proposal: do away once-and-for-all with the term “post-harvest” in discussions of the coffee chain, and replace it with a new term.  A term that borrows from the lexicon of radio, TV and […]