Category: Resilience

10. How sustainable is “sustainable coffee”?

The “sustainable coffees” segment of the specialty market is more crowded than ever with certifications and concepts that advance different — sometimes competing — ideas about what constitutes sustainability when it comes to coffee. I believe that all these approaches generate benefits and move in the right direction. The question I struggle with is how much benefit they need to generate — and for whom — to be truly sustainable?

6. Why does hunger have to be so confusing?

Last week I turned the basic concept of “hunger” into the remote concepts of “availability, access and utilization.” I appreciate why that might seem confusing. But these sub-concepts make it possible to target the specific sources of want with more precision in the design and implementation of anti-hunger initiatives. Here are a few examples of how this is being done in the coffeelands.

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.

4. What is food security?

I have been writing a bit over the past few days about food security in coffee communities. When I write about “food security,” what I am really talking about is hunger. People can suffer from hunger when the answer to any of the following three questions is “no”: Is there enough food for people to eat? Can people get the food? Do people make use of the food?