The Blog

Burying Seeds

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. Monseñor Romero. Rutilio Grande.  There are a […]

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 […]

New faces in the Coffeelands team

New faces in the Coffeelands team

We’re pleased to announce that the Coffeelands team has added some new faces to the team to help the Coffeelands program work towards a more equitable coffee sector in which coffee-dependent populations earn a living income, natural resources are conserved, protected, and regenerated, and coffee communities are resilient and empowered. Let’s start at the top. […]

Wet mills and water use

Wet mills and water use

  Wet mills.  These are key elements in the coffee landscape.  They are the first step into transforming the cherry into a green bean.  At the heart, these structures can be relatively simple.  They need to receive the cherries, to de-pulp (Some stop here!  We won’t get too much into detail with pulped naturals, naturals […]

It’s all about CEC, You See

It’s all about CEC, You See

This is a guest post by Hannah Francis, a Fulbright Scholar working with CRS’ Blue Harvest team in El Salvador this year. Hannah is a soil scientist helping analyze research data from hundreds of coffee farms. This post builds on our recent post called Get Me SOM, and several other posts on soil management on coffee farms. Guest […]

SCAA Blueprint on Water Security at Origin

SCAA Blueprint on Water Security at Origin

SCAA has just published the Blueprint for Water Security in the Coffeelands as part of its series on critical issues at origin. The Blueprint’s purpose is “to support action by coffee stakeholders committed to increasing water security at origin”   I believe the Blueprint can serve as a useful reference for highlighting water-related actions at […]

Developing the specialty market for robusta with the first “Taza Dorada” in Ecuador

Judges cup robusta at the Taza Dorada in Ecuador.  Photo by CRS.

The Borderlands project took place on two sides of the Colombian – Ecuadorian border.  In Nariño we know about the hidden potential to produce high quality Arabica coffees.  We’ve shared some of the stories from there previously on this blog.  Less than 100 miles away, while the Andes mountains continue tracing the spine of South […]

Thank you

Last Friday marked 14 years from the day I started at CRS.  Yesterday was my last day. For nearly half that time, I have been writing this blog.  More than 500 posts.  Nearly a half-million words.  Over 1,000 comments online and some multiple of that number offline.  I want to thank you for reading it, […]

ode to the author

2016-07-28 Comments

14 years ago Michael Sheridan was assigned to me. I was working in the southern Philippines (Mindanao) for CRS, and Michael came in as a Fellow. He’s called that a “lucky break“, and it was for me. We had this odd organizational hierarchy, where I was his “mentor”, but not his supervisor, while he seemed to […]

Social Capital and Water

2016-07-22 Comments
Social Capital and Water

Twenty years ago, I was in the Peace Corps in Honduras working on water systems, and one of the biggest lessons from that experience was the conviction that if a community could come together and build their own water system, they could do just about anything. When people in a village or small town can […]