Category: Events

30. SCAA preview – Coping with hunger

Last week I began previewing the presentation I will deliver later this week at SCAA during the Hunger in the Coffeelands panel discussion, and focused on some of the leading food-based causes of hunger. Today I look at some of the strategies that vulnerable farm families use to cope with hunger, and how these can create a dangerous and self-reinforcing cycle of need.

29. SCAA preview – Access to food

Yesterday I reflected on one of the direct causes of hunger — limited availability of food. Today I continue to preview my presentation for the Hunger in the Coffeelands panel at SCAA with a focus on another separate but related issue — access to food. Even when there is plenty of food available in local markets, poor and marginalized people don’t always have access to it.

28. Farmer tour in So. Cal. 12-14 April

From 12-14 April, my colleagues at CRS West in California will be hosting Rigoberto Contreras Díaz, a smallholder coffee farmer and representative of the Yeni Navan/MICHIZA association in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Rigo will be traveling throughout Southern California for a few days in advance of next week’s SCAA Expo and sharing his perspectives on coffee, Fair […]

27. SCAA preview – Availability of food

The 2010 SCAA event starts in just a few days. I am participating the “Hunger in the Coffeelands” panel, where I will be briefly sharing some of our experiences at CRS with both issues — hunger and coffee. I will preview my presentation here over the coming days, starting with some reflections on our three-part food security framework, which considers the availability, access and utilization of food. Today’s theme: availability.

5. SCAA program highlights

I have made my pre-conference picks for the highlights of the conference for anyone interested in the intersection between specialty coffee and development: lectures that seem to hold the most promise to illuminate some of the persistent challenges in the coffeelands — and some of the most promising approaches to addressing them. Biggest disappointment: nothing on the agenda about climate change and the threat it poses to specialty coffee.

3. Coffeelands: 1, Baristas: 0

I must admit that I have had a hard time getting into barista competitions. Living and working in the coffeelands where so many smallholder farmers work so hard in total obscurity to grow the great coffee that fuels — quite literally — the hyper-caffeinated gatherings of the SCAA and the Barista Guild makes it hard for me to accept the swagger of baristas who produce beverages that seem only very remotely to qualify as “coffee.” So you can imagine my delight when Sustainable Harvest had the inspired idea to bring champion baristas to origin during the 2009 edition of Let’s Talk Coffee to live a few days in the life of a coffee farmer.