The Blog

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 […]

New faces in the Coffeelands team

2016-10-12 Comments
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

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 […]