Category: Climate Change

Research analysis: coffee certification and specialization in the Borderlands

Yesterday I summarized the key findings of a study in the current issue of Food Policy that is based on data from our Borderlands project in Colombia. Today, I discuss the content and implications of that article with its lead author, Wytse Vellema, a Ph.D. candidate at Ghent University in Belgium. The highlights of my […]

Responding to the Climate Crisis through Crop Diversification

My first job after college was working as an intern with Sojourners Magazine and eventually as an assistant to founder, author and Editor Jim Wallis. He would remind me time and again that our worldview is shaped heavily by where we live and what we see out our front window every day.  Living in inner […]

Coffee and Drought: A Costly Combination for Farmers

It is no secret that the current El Niño phenomenon has caused drought in the global coffeelands, particularly Central America, the Caribbean, and East Africa. Drought conditions in Central America and the Caribbean are occurring for the second consecutive year, wreaking havoc on cash crops, food staples, and livestock. Satellite-derived rainfall estimates indicate that the […]

Introducing The CRS Coffeelands Program

Back in July, the International Coffee Organization announced that 1 October would be International Coffee Day.  Ever since, it has been asking this question on its social media: “How are you celebrating International Coffee Day?”  Today, I am delighted to answer on behalf of CRS: by launching a global coffee program. . .

Sustainable Development Goal for Water

The Sustainable Development Goal for Water This weekend, the UN will launch the new Sustainable Development Goals. These goals build from the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were a driver for the world’s development priorities from 1990-2015. MDG #7 focused on the environment with a sub-target devoted to water, including a target to “halve, by 2015, the […]

Colombia Sensory Trial: Re:co Symposium Video and Resource Page

Yesterday our friends at the Specialty Coffee Association of America uploaded this video of my Colombia Sensory Trial presentation to Re:co Symposium in Gothenburg, Sweden, in June. . . It was the second time in three months I had the opportunity to deliver to industry leaders the results of our sensory research collaboration with the […]

Inconceivable!

In my family, the 1987 film “The Princess Bride” is something of a tradition. I showed it to our kids early (perhaps too early for the younger ones) and we watch it often. For better or worse, references to its many memorable lines now punctuate conversations in our house. But there is one trope in […]

Coffee Supply Chain’s Hidden Heroes

Hollywood loves a good comeback story.  So when I think of the struggles of a coffee community in Honduras called Opatoro, I can’t help but think of them in terms of a Hollywood script.  The pitch might go something like this: In 2012, Dunia Martínez, newly elected mayor of Opatoro in rural Honduras, began receiving […]

The Machete vs the Hoe

2015-06-18 Comments

Blessed is the Machete A machete makes a wonderful wedding gift. After working many years with farmers around the world, I learned to value the multiple functions a machete offers a family: it’s a knife, a lawn mower, vegetable peeler, screwdriver, tree pruner, and so much more. A few years ago, my friends Sara and […]