Category: Policy

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 […]

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 […]

Coffee’s role in the future of a peaceful Colombia

A few weeks ago, some exciting and hopeful news came out of Colombia.  You might have missed it, as It was predictably lost in the news cycle which was dominated by the horrific mass shooting in an Orlando night club; the permissive gun laws in the US; the Brexit and its global economic ramifications; the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Coffee’s Water Footprint Needs to Be Revised

The Measure of Coffee’s Water Footprint Needs to Be Revised This 2003 study on coffee’s water footprint reported that it requires 140 liters of water to produce one cup of coffee. This metric is quoted so frequently (including by this blog) that it’s almost assumed to be a fact. However, the study needs a critical review because it is […]

Review: Danwatch exposé on slavery in Brazilian coffee

2016-03-07 Comments

Last week, the Danish human rights organization Danwatch released this hard-hitting exposé on modern slavery in Brazil’s coffee sector.  Rather than summarize its key findings, we suggest anyone interested in farm labor, the future of coffee supply, or the evolving conversation on coffee sustainability should read it in its entirety.  Instead, we offer something closer […]