Monthly Archives: February 2012

247. How to assess impact at origin?

2012-02-28 No Comments

Last week I asked whether it is better for roasters and importers to reinvest at origin individually or collaboratively.  Those who do choose to reinvest at origin may ask the same question when they are deciding how to assess the social return on their investments.

246. How to invest at origin?

2012-02-24 Comments

For pioneering roasters and importers whose interest in sustainability goes beyond sourcing certified coffees, the question may not be whether to reinvest at origin, but how?  Is it best to go it alone, reinvesting in the farmers who grow your coffee and their communities?  Or is it better to work collaboratively at origin with the […]

245. Coffee, impact and “Big Data”

2012-02-20 No Comments

Recent discussions here on the topic of assessing impact at origin have mapped into broader currents of conversation within the specialty coffee industry and society at large about how increasing data flows affect our day-to-day decision-making.  Or don’t.

244. FTUSA releases Independent Smallholders Standard

2012-02-13 1 Comment

Fair Trade USA has released a draft of its Independent Smallholders Standard (ISS) along with a four-page primer, officially opening the period of public review and comment on the way it proposes to bring smallholder farmers not currently organized into cooperatives into the U.S. Fair Trade market for the first time.   I will be conferring […]

243. FTUSA’s Independent Smallholders Standard: Periodic table of the acronyms

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The Independent Smallholders Standard (ISS) released by Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) is shot through with acronyms — 35 by my count.  This periodic table of the acronyms is an essential companion to the Standard.   – – – – – Read other posts related to the FTUSA Independent Smallholders Standard.  

242. FTUSA’s Independent Smallholders Standard: The criteria

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The Fair Trade USA Independent Smallholders Standard includes 135 requirements.  Here is a visual representation that suggests they are focused primarily on empowerment, social responsibility and environmental stewardship. (If you haven’t already done so, I would suggest downloading the Periodic Table of the Acronyms — an essential resource that will help you make sense of […]

241. FTUSA’s Independent Smallholders Standard: Now and later

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In its draft Independent Smallholders Standard, Fair Trade USA adopts a familiar approach, identifying minimum criteria that participants must meet to qualify for certification initially, as well as progress criteria they must fulfill over time.  These graphs show what farmers and the organizations supporting them have to do now get certified, and what they can […]

240. FTUSA’s Independent Smallholders Standard: The empowerment agenda

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Opponents of FTUSA’s Fair Trade for All initiative have focused in their public communications on the participation of coffee estates in the U.S. Fair Trade market, and characterized their resistance as a stand for smallholders.  They have mostly ignored the fact that FT4All also opens the door to independent smallholder farmers.  On the rare occasions […]

239. Parlez-vous cafe?

2012-02-08 No Comments

My colleagues in the Democratic Republic of Congo are recruiting a French-speaking coffee specialist to direct a new CRS coffee value chain intiative in Eastern Congo.  For more information about the opportunity or to apply online, look here.

238. New Year’s resolution for 2012

2012-02-06 Comments

Today, a belated New Year’s resolution regarding our coffee programming: “mo’ better” monitoring and evaluation in 2012.