Category: Water and Natural Resources

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 […]

Blue Harvest and Coffeelands

Last week, we announced CRS’ new global coffee program, Coffeelands. In that post, we said that Coffeelands will build the CRS Blue Harvest approach into future programs in the coffeelands. Today, we want to provide you a glimpse of what this means. Background on Blue Harvest Blue Harvest has been highlighted several times in this blog, starting with […]

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. . .

Sustainable Development Goal for Water

The Sustainable Development Goal for Water This weekend, the UN will launch the new Sustainable Development Goals. These goals build from the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were a driver for the world’s development priorities from 1990-2015. MDG #7 focused on the environment with a sub-target devoted to water, including a target to “halve, by 2015, the […]

Coffee Supply Chain’s Hidden Heroes

Hollywood loves a good comeback story.  So when I think of the struggles of a coffee community in Honduras called Opatoro, I can’t help but think of them in terms of a Hollywood script.  The pitch might go something like this: In 2012, Dunia Martínez, newly elected mayor of Opatoro in rural Honduras, began receiving […]

The Machete vs the Hoe

2015-06-18 Comments

Blessed is the Machete A machete makes a wonderful wedding gift. After working many years with farmers around the world, I learned to value the multiple functions a machete offers a family: it’s a knife, a lawn mower, vegetable peeler, screwdriver, tree pruner, and so much more. A few years ago, my friends Sara and […]

Coffee ground: The importance of soil health

In my last Coffeelands post, as part of our tribute to the International Year of Soils, I promised to seek out experts in the area of soil management and coffee production and to share their invaluable insights with you.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to look far.  My colleague, Luis Álvarez Welchez, knows soil and coffee.  […]

Bird Friendly Coffee: Good for the farmers?

Dr. Robert Rice is commonly referred to as the coffee industry’s “voice of the birds,” and the certification he represents the gold standard for environmentally friendly coffee. That point is difficult to argue:  The Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center’s Bird Friendly coffee certification requires farmers to be organic certified, possess at least ten different species of trees […]