Category: Markets

Farmgate Price: An Important – but Partial – Piece of the Sustainability Puzzle

2017-09-19 Comments

In March, I wrote about my reaction to Kickapoo Coffee publishing a minimum FOB price for all their coffees. That article focused on Kickapoo and other efforts to make pricing more transparent – an aspect of the specialty coffee business that can be quite murky. I had 3 takeaways of things that I liked about […]

Robusta farmers rewarded for quality in the 2nd Taza Dorada

The Coffeelands blogs suffers from a few coffee prejudices, which we readily admit to.  Our geographical base is in Central America and therefore our coverage tends to be towards issues that are of great concern in this part of the world.  We’re unabashedly Arabica centric as well.  You’ll find it in our daily drink and […]

Thoughts on the UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Merger

Over the past 36 months, the coffee industry has seen a wave of consolidations roll through the retail/manufacturing sector and those of us on the sidelines have been trying to figure out what it all means (see Sara Morrocchi’s great talk at Re:co Dublin last year). While some argued that consolidation was going to be […]

A new approach to working on Price Risk Management

If you have been following us in this space, you know that one of the topics that has been at the front of my mind has been Price Risk Management (PRM).   PRM refers to a set of strategies and practices for farmer organizations that minimizes the negative impact of drastic changes in the global price […]

A closer look at what a $2.75 /lb. FOB minimum price means

A few weeks ago, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters publicly committed to paying farmers in their supply chain a minimum of $2.75 FOB per lb. FOB (FOB stands for Free on Board, which means this is the price of the coffee ready for export) for all of Kickapoo’s green coffee purchases.  Their press release says that it […]

Zen and the Art of Natural Coffee

Last year, I waded into the debate on natural coffee with a post called “Natural Coffees – Good for Water Resources” concluding that, “I think that natural coffees should have a future, and that the coffee industry (from roasters to farmers) should invest in methods and systems to make natural coffees more consistent”. After that […]

Building farmer organizations with social capital

We are temporary actors in the Coffeelands. Although CRS has been working for years in coffee origin countries (over 50 years of continued presence in Central America), projects are by their nature time bound interventions that are meant to create short and medium term benefits. Yet, our mission and the “big” goals of our work […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]