Monthly Archives: April 2012

265. Nice guys (don’t always) finish last

2012-04-27 1 Comment

The 2012 edition of the SCAA Expo proved that nice guys don’t always finish last — among the event’s big winners were some of the nicest guys in coffee.

264. Overheard at SCAA 2012

2012-04-24 No Comments

As usual, this year’s SCAA was a blur, with great coffee from the country’s best roasters and baristas fueling long days and late nights punctuated by lots of thought-provoking discussions.  It always takes me a few weeks to really digest all the discussions from SCAA and understand their implications for my work here in the […]

263. Research review: Counter Culture’s case study on the social impact of microlots

2012-04-21 1 Comment

Counter Culture Coffee Buyer and Sustainability Manager Kim Elena Ionescu was scheduled to present the company’s brilliant case study on the social impact of microlots to the 2012 SCAA Expo today.  She was unable to attend, so Counter Culture’s Coffee Director Peter Giuliano stood in for her — arguably one of the more notable understudies […]

262. Counter Culture interview: The social impact of microlots

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Kim Elena Ionescu probably needs no introduction.  The Counter Culture Coffee Buyer and Sustainability Manager has been sourcing great coffee for years for one of the leading brands in specialty coffee.  Along the way, she has been steadily moving the company toward more sustainable and transparent sourcing practices, and showing a way forward for other […]

261. Measuring Direct Trade’s impact

2012-04-19 No Comments

Later this week, Counter Culture Coffee will present the results of its study “The Social Impact of Microlots” to an audience at the 2012 SCAA Expo.  I am excited about the report because it directly addresses two issues that have been the source of much discussion on this blog in recent years: the potential for […]

260. Brewing change: Rick Peyser and the rise of sustainability in specialty coffee

2012-04-18 No Comments

Every year the SCAA’s “big event” plays host to countless “small events” — receptions, fundraisers, competitions, press releases, big announcements, etc.  One of the “small events” I am looking forward to most eagerly this year is the release of “Brewing Change,” a new book about Green Mountain’s Director of Coffee Community Outreach and Social Advocacy […]

259. “Downstream”

2012-04-17 No Comments

Two of my colleagues here in Latin America, one a water resource management specialist and the other an authority on agroforestry and climate change, will deliver a presentation at the 2012 SCAA Expo on Saturday on coffee and water resource management at origin.  The presentation, which fills a persistent gap in the SCAA lecture lineup, […]

258. Borderlands baseline survey

2012-04-16 No Comments

I have been posting reflections and photos in recent weeks about the baseline study for the Borderlands Coffee Project.  Today, the baseline survey begins.  Over the next month, dozens of field agents will interview over 1,000 smallholder farmers as part of a thorough household-level baseline survey.  See the full household-level baseline survey here.  

257. The sources of hunger in the coffeelands

2012-04-11 No Comments

A friend at SCAA recently invited me to submit a 1200-word article to The Specialty Coffee Chronicle on the sources of seasonal hunger in the coffeelands and promising approaches to addressing it.  I guess I got a little carried away with the assignment – my initial draft came in at closer to 3000 words.  Thanks […]

256. This is who a baseline looks like

2012-04-10 Comments

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo essay titled “This is what a baseline looks like” to show a bit of what it means to measure impact at origin.  Today, I am back in Ecuador’s northern Amazon with the capable team that will implement the baseline here beginning on Monday.  Here are a few […]