Monthly Archives: October 2012

314. Robusta on the cupping table

2012-10-24 No Comments

Earlier this month in Colombia, we worked with Sustainable Harvest to stage an event-within-an-event during its annual Let’s Talk Coffee gathering.  Our event, which focused on “the other coffee,” was a three-part program called  “Let’s Talk Robusta” that culminated in a fine Robusta cupping led by the great Sunalini Menon. Video coverage of the cupping […]

313. Robusta: The other coffee

2012-10-23 No Comments

Last October, I wrote the R-word on this blog for the first time.  I was explaining our collaboration with smallholder farmers in Ecuador’s northern Amazon region to explore the emerging market for specialty Robusta coffees. It took us more than a year to re-engage publicly with the idea of fine Robusta, but we think it […]

312. “Robusta is indeed a big deal”

2012-10-22 No Comments

A lot has been said already in social media about “Let’s Talk Robusta,” a three-part program we sponsored as part of Sustainable Harvest‘s 10th annual Let’s Talk Coffee event earlier this month in Colombia.  I will share more in the coming days about the event, and I am confident that the contested concept of fine […]

311. Big news in coffee

2012-10-10 No Comments

I have been so busy preparing for and participating in Sustainable Harvest’s 10th annual Let’s Talk Coffee in Colombia last week that I am just getting caught up on some recent news in coffee. Here are some of the biggest stories in specialty coffee from the last month.

310. A framework for Fair Trade: Exit, voice and loyalty

2012-10-09 Comments

I have moved four times since I finished graduate school more than 10 years ago.  Precious few of my textbooks have traveled with me through all those long-distance moves.  One that has is a slender, dog-eared volume that advances in relatively few pages an exceptionally robust conceptual framework: Albert Hirschman’s Exit, Voice and Loyalty.  Applying […]

309. Fair Trade and governance, revisited

2012-10-08 1 Comment

The Fair Trade Certification system has been convulsed since Fair Trade USA broke ranks with Fairtrade International more than a year ago, introducing its ambitious Fair Trade for All initiative and changing the rules of the game.  The substance of the decision rankled coops and Fair Trade pioneers.  But what seemed to really unite opposition […]

308. Sustainable Harvest and “Relationship Coffee”

2012-10-04 No Comments

I am in Colombia this week with 20 CRS colleagues, partners and project participants from Latin America and the Caribbean to participate in Let’s Talk Coffee, the innovative value chain event that Sustainable Harvest created 10 years ago.  I see lots of opportunities for learning in the event’s exciting agenda, which includes a wide range […]

307. Let’s Talk Robusta

2012-10-02 1 Comment

Today I travel to Medellín with 20 CRS colleagues, partners and project participants from Colombia, Ecuador and Haiti for Let’s Talk Coffee – the annual coffee value chain event that Sustainable Harvest created 10 years ago.  The first Let’s Talk Coffee was a groundbreaking innovation, creating an annual space for face-to-face communications among farmer organizations […]

306. The water interviews: Nicaragua

2012-10-01 No Comments

My colleague Jefferson Shriver is an advisor on issues of agroenterprise and climate change for CRS programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.  He is based in Nicaragua, where he has lived and worked on-and-off for the better part of 20 years.  Over that time, he has collaborated with many of the country’s leading coffee […]