The Blog

ode to the author

2016-07-28 1 Comment

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

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 […]

Coffee’s role in the future of a peaceful Colombia

Coffee’s role in the future of a peaceful Colombia

A few weeks ago, some exciting and hopeful news came out of Colombia.  You might have missed it, as It was predictably lost in the news cycle which was dominated by the horrific mass shooting in an Orlando night club; the permissive gun laws in the US; the Brexit and its global economic ramifications; the […]

Get me SOM

2016-07-07 Comments
Get me SOM

Over the past 18 months (and more), we’ve posted often on the critical role of soils in terms of sustainable coffee production and water resources management. With all we’ve written, if I had to choose one recommendation  for improving coffee farm management, it would be this: “Increase Soil Organic Matter” Soil Organic Matter is abbreviated as SOM. […]

We Are Facing Climate Change Head On

We Are Facing Climate Change Head On

Cheers to the coffee world out there. From the consumers to the farmers who grow it, to market participants and NGOs who work to support it… To all of us who live and breathe coffee. I found myself in a meeting a couple weeks ago that took me back to Re:Co Symposium and SCAA Atlanta […]

Calculating Water Benefits on Coffee Farms

Calculating Water Benefits on Coffee Farms

This a guest post by Will Garde, from the Caffeinated Engineer,  who has provided technical support to CRS’ Blue Harvest program this past year. Knowledge-based Coffee Watershed Management We know a lot about sustainable agricultural practices, and the specialty coffee industry has been a pioneer in incentivizing farmers to adapt good practices. But these practices, require time […]

Price Risk Management revisited: Reality check and back to basics

Price Risk Management revisited: Reality check and back to basics

If you have been following the Coffeelands blog, you’ll know that Price Risk Management is a topic that if increasing importance to us. I’ve been writing about this topic for the last 9 months and talking about it for even longer.  Finally, this last week, I got to walk the walk. With the help of […]

Coffeelands Program seeking new leadership

In August, after 14 years with CRS (more than 12 of them leading the agency’s coffee programming), I will be leaving CRS and transitioning to a new role as Director of Sourcing and Sustainability at Intelligentsia Coffee based in Chicago.  In the meantime, I need to help hire a replacement to lead the CRS Coffeelands […]

Brazil’s Congress convenes hearing on modern slavery in the coffee sector

Next week, a public hearing in Brazil’s Câmara dos Deputados will explore the issue of modern slavery in the country’s coffee sector.  The Human Rights Commission and the Labor Commission have jointly convened the gathering, scheduled for Wednesday, 15 June at 2 pm in meeting room #9.  The event was organized by the Articulação dos Empregados […]

Brazil’s Supreme Court lifts ban on “Dirty List”

Brazil’s Supreme Court has lifted its injunction on one of the most powerful and distinctive tools in the country’s campaign to eradicate slave labor, clearing the way for its reinstatement after a suspension that lasted nearly 17 months.  The “Dirty List”—a public registry of employers found by the Ministry of Labor to be employing workers […]