Category: Resilience

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 […]

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 […]

It’s all about CEC, You See

This is a guest post by Hannah Francis, a Fulbright Scholar working with CRS’ Blue Harvest team in El Salvador this year. Hannah is a soil scientist helping analyze research data from hundreds of coffee farms. This post builds on our recent post called Get Me SOM, and several other posts on soil management on coffee farms. Guest […]

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 […]

Get me SOM

2016-07-07 Comments

Over the past 18 months (and more), we’ve posted often on the critical role of soils in terms of sustainable coffee production and water resources management. With all we’ve written, if I had to choose one recommendation  for improving coffee farm management, it would be this: “Increase Soil Organic Matter” Soil Organic Matter is abbreviated as SOM. […]

Calculating Water Benefits on Coffee Farms

This a guest post by Will Garde, from the Caffeinated Engineer,  who has provided technical support to CRS’ Blue Harvest program this past year. Knowledge-based Coffee Watershed Management We know a lot about sustainable agricultural practices, and the specialty coffee industry has been a pioneer in incentivizing farmers to adapt good practices. But these practices, require time […]

Incentivizing farmer-led renovation in Guatemala

A few months ago, in the offices of Anacafé in Guatemala City, the II Cumbre de la Roya was held, 2 years after the initial meeting.  The objective of the meeting was to take stock of what has happened since the first meeting and to see how the Central American coffee sector was recovering from […]

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 […]