The Blog

Look out, Austin! CRS Coffeelands at the 2017 National Coffee Association Convention

  We are 3 months into another year, and we’re about to start the convention/summit/expo/meeting season.  This year the schedule is a bit different for Coffeelands. This is the first year that we are going to the National Coffee Association Convention.  Over here in Coffeelands, we are big fans of Bill Murray, the CEO and […]

A closer look at what a $2.75 /lb. FOB minimum price means

A closer look at what a $2.75 /lb. FOB minimum price means

A few weeks ago, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters publicly committed to paying farmers in their supply chain a minimum of $2.75 FOB per lb. FOB (FOB stands for Free on Board, which means this is the price of the coffee ready for export) for all of Kickapoo’s green coffee purchases.  Their press release says that it […]

Zen and the Art of Natural Coffee

Zen and the Art of Natural Coffee

Last year, I waded into the debate on natural coffee with a post called “Natural Coffees – Good for Water Resources” concluding that, “I think that natural coffees should have a future, and that the coffee industry (from roasters to farmers) should invest in methods and systems to make natural coffees more consistent”. After that […]

Building farmer organizations with social capital

Building farmer organizations with social capital

We are temporary actors in the Coffeelands. Although CRS has been working for years in coffee origin countries (over 50 years of continued presence in Central America), projects are by their nature time bound interventions that are meant to create short and medium term benefits. Yet, our mission and the “big” goals of our work […]

Protecting Water Resources with Supply Chain Actors

Protecting Water Resources with Supply Chain Actors

By working together with all actors of a supply chain, we can tackle problems and identify solutions in a more sustainable and efficient way. CRS Blue Harvest seeks to protect and restore potable water resources in agricultural lands by promoting water and soil conservation practices and improving water governance. In Central America, we work in […]

Borderlands 2016 Harvest Hits Stores

Borderlands 2016 Harvest Hits Stores

  In the past week, lots from the 2016 Borderlands harvest starting hitting stores in a big way. The Borderlands lot is the featured coffee on Counter Culture’s landing page, which is a mixed lot from two different communities. https://counterculturecoffee.com/ Just a few days later, Intelligentsia celebrated the opening of a roasting and training facility […]

Beyond the Source – the co-benefits of water-smart farm practices

Beyond the Source – the co-benefits of water-smart farm practices

Last August (time is flying) we posted a summary of the Specialty Coffee Association’s Blueprint for Water Security in the Coffeelands. That paper presented 6 recommendations “to support action by coffee stakeholders committed to increasing water security at origin”. I want to highlight one of the key SCA recommendations, and how it links to an exciting new […]

Analysis paralysis: Farmers need decision support tools

2016-12-12 Comments
Analysis paralysis:  Farmers need decision support tools

I work for a non-profit-organization whose mission is to support communities in becoming more resilient and improving the management of their natural resources to become more sustainable. We do this in part by helping farmers to earn living incomes – this means helping to ensure that all household members have a decent standard of living […]

Burying Seeds

2016-12-01 Comments
Burying Seeds

I’ve been on the road – now back to work – and back to Coffeelands. A lot happened in November, which got me thinking about purpose and mission. Today a friend sent this quote, and I like it for a lot of reasons. I think about campesinos toiling. And about Monseñor Romero, Rutilio Grande, and […]

More PRM! Best practices with contracts for cooperatives and farmer associations

More PRM!  Best practices with contracts for cooperatives and farmer associations

(Influenced heavily by these fantastic reference pieces Trading Practices for a Sustainable Coffee Sector – IISD, Jason Potts, with Guido Fernandez and Chris Wunderlich and by the International Trade Center’s – The Coffee Exporter’s Guide) Recently, we’ve been working with the cooperatives participating in the Blue Harvest project in Central America to improve the commercialization […]