Monthly Archives: May 2012

279. Sizing up Nariño for the FT4All pilot

2012-05-31 Comments

On Tuesday, I announced here our involvement in an FT4All innovation pilot with independent smallholder farmers in Nariño, Colombia.  Yesterday, I explained here how our involvement came to pass.  Today, I discuss why Nariño might be the best imaginable place in the world for this pilot.  And why it might be the worst.

278. How CRS came to be involved in FT4All in Colombia

2012-05-30 Comments

Yesterday we announced here that we are getting involved in an FT4All pilot project with independent smallholder farmers in Colombia.  Today we explain how it came to pass.

277. CRS is getting involved in an FT4All pilot. Here’s why.

2012-05-29 Comments

CRS is getting involved in a Fair Trade for All pilot project with independent smallholder farmers in Nariño, Colombia.  Here’s why.

276. A light goes out in Guatemala

2012-05-28 Comments

A light that burned brightly for nearly 50 years on the shores of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala has gone dark: Fr. Greg Schaffer of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, died last week.  During nearly a half-century of committed ministry, Fr. Greg accompanied the mostly indigenous community of San Lucas Tolimán through a painful civil […]

275. The FT4All Pilots: How to measure success

2012-05-23 Comments

In yesterday’s post, I suggested that measuring the success of FTUSA’s FT4All coffee innovation pilots could be a complicated affair.  The best imaginable scenario, in my mind, is an impact assessment process that is transparent, system-wide, longitudinal and conducted by an independent third party with no skin in the game.  Hitting all four of those […]

274. The FT4All pilots: What does success look like?

2012-05-22 No Comments

Fair Trade USA is rolling out Fair Trade for All pilots with coffee estates and independent smallholder farmers all around the world.  If these pilots succeed, we expect to see more and more of them.  But what does success look like, and how will we measure it? I have had several good discussions of this […]

273. Fair Trade discussion on Canadian public radio

2012-05-21 1 Comment

Got 25 minutes to spare?  Listen to this excellent discussion on CBC’s The Current between FTUSA CEO Paul Rice and Fairtrade Canada Communications Director Michael Zelmer on the changes in the Fair Trade system.  Haven’t got the time?  Here are some of the highlights.

272. The FT4All debate: It’s getting personal


Last September, Fair Trade USA issued two controversial announcements: one about its decision to withdraw from Fairtrade International, the global Fair Trade Certifier formerly known as FLO, and another launching its Fair Trade for All initiative, which rewrites the rules of Fair Trade and opens the U.S. Fair Trade market to coffee estates. In the […]

271. Counter Culture microlot research update

2012-05-16 No Comments

With apologies for the delay: Counter Culture Coffee has published the full report from its groundbreaking study “The Social Impact of Microlots.” Milestones and more related content from the CRS Coffeelands Blog: November 2010.  Counter Culture Coffee Director Peter Giuliano discusses the potential perils of microlots with Matt Earley of Just Coffee, a Fair Trade […]

270. Trapiche

2012-05-10 No Comments

Yesterday I spent a day in the field here in Colombia as part of the baseline study for our Borderlands Coffee Project.  The first farm we visited provided a very pleasant surprise — a rustic sugar cane press. I fondly recall first chewing on sugar cane more than 15 years ago as a volunteer in […]