Category: Markets

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 […]

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 […]

Beyond the hot take on the Starbucks sustainability bond

A few weeks ago, Starbucks made an incredible announcement.  They were going to have nitro cold brew in their cafes!! I think this definitively answers the Symposium question, is cold brew a category or craze?  OK, OK.  I’m joking.  The real earth-shaker is that Starbucks has issued the first US corporate bond for sustainability.  The […]

Caravela Pledges Percentage of Ecuador Coffee Sales for Earthquake Relief

Caravela Coffee, the vertically integrated exporter/importer formerly known as Virmax, has been a key CRS partner in our Borderlands project in Colombia, delivering dozens of single-farm and community lots to Counter Culture and Stumptown over the past three years and delivering quality premiums to hundreds of smallholder growers who had never earned them before.  This […]

Knocking on Coffee’s Door: Cocoa’s Case as a Coffee Farm Alternative

2016-04-22 Comments

In previous Coffeelands posts we have written about the importance of diversifying smallholder coffee farms as a hedge against falling coffee prices, low coffee productivity resulting from disease (such as coffee leaf rust) and other factors. Diversification into other crops such as nuts, plantains and fruit, among others, also helps to ensure that a farmer […]

The USBC Origins Project – Day One

Back in Februrary, after watching the USBC Qualifying Event in Kansas City, I committed myself to this, an initiative I called the “USBC Origins Project.”  I found myself wanting more info on the coffees that baristas had so carefully chosen for their routines—who grew those coffees?  where?  how?  which exporters and importers took such good […]

CRS Policy Brief: Slave labor in Brazilian coffee. (And what we can do about it.)

2016-04-13 Comments

When we learned in the summer of 2013 that inspectors from Brazil’s Ministry of Labor found evidence that 15 coffee farms had employed workers under what the country calls “conditions analogous to slavery,” we were shocked.  The revelation raised lots of questions: What does “slavery” mean in Brazil in 2013?  How widespread is the practice […]