Category: Resilience

Research analysis: coffee certification and specialization in the Borderlands

Yesterday I summarized the key findings of a study in the current issue of Food Policy that is based on data from our Borderlands project in Colombia. Today, I discuss the content and implications of that article with its lead author, Wytse Vellema, a Ph.D. candidate at Ghent University in Belgium. The highlights of my […]

New research from the Borderlands

Our Borderlands Coffee Project in Nariño, Colombia, includes a research partnership with our friends at CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia. The collaboration allows us to use the project as a platform for field research, generate results-based evidence, and support decision-making at multiple levels: on the farm, in the policymaking process […]

The CRS Coffeelands Advisory Council

Last week, we celebrated International Coffee Day by announcing a $4.5 million commitment to establish the CRS Coffeelands Program, a global effort to pursue our vision for the future of the coffee sector: smallholder coffee growers who are organized, profitable and resilient; coffee farmworkers who are dignified, engaged and empowered; and coffee-growing landscapes that build […]

Introducing The CRS Coffeelands Program

Back in July, the International Coffee Organization announced that 1 October would be International Coffee Day.  Ever since, it has been asking this question on its social media: “How are you celebrating International Coffee Day?”  Today, I am delighted to answer on behalf of CRS: by launching a global coffee program. . .

In a time of $1.15 coffee, price risk management is of paramount importance

2015-09-23 Comments

My mother is a first generation immigrant. She came to the United States with my father and three small children in the mid-1980s from the Philippines.  Like many first generation immigrants, she knows the value of a dollar and she rarely pays retail price for anything. A coupon or a sale can always be found. […]

“Nano” finance? Village savings and loans groups filling the gaps that microfinance can’t reach

2015-08-17 Comments

In a few of my recent posts, I have juxtaposed the amount of investment that is directed to the retail end of the supply chain (for example, $70 million for Blue Bottle, $9 million for a “bulletproof” coffee retail chain, etc.) versus the amount that is directed to the most vulnerable end of the supply […]

Colombia Sensory Trial: Re:co Symposium Video and Resource Page

Yesterday our friends at the Specialty Coffee Association of America uploaded this video of my Colombia Sensory Trial presentation to Re:co Symposium in Gothenburg, Sweden, in June. . . It was the second time in three months I had the opportunity to deliver to industry leaders the results of our sensory research collaboration with the […]

It takes a village… to save the disappearing small farmer

A few weeks ago, NPR ran an article on the disappearing smallholder cocoa farmer.  A few days ago, Michael brought our attention to a Guardian article on the plight of small farmers globally, and gently reminded us that this isn’t a new story, especially not for specialty coffee. The list of challenges for small farmers […]

Farmworkers and Policy: New Global Coffee Frontiers

In May, The Guardian published this article declaring “smallholder farmers are the new global food frontier.” The author is Hugh Locke, president and co-founder of a Haitian non-profit called Smallholder Farmers Alliance.  He reminds readers that smallholders produce 70 percent of the world’s food, argues that we are not positioning them for success and issues […]

Report from East Africa – Coffee origins with enormous potential (and enormous challenges)

2015-07-20 Comments

My fellow blog authors and I are very self-aware of Coffeelands’ biases. It is told from a (mostly) white male development professional’s perspective from Latin American origins. However, this bias is not reflective of the global reach of CRS’ coffee programming. In addition to our five active coffee projects in Latin America, we currently have […]