Tag Archives: Borderlands

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 […]

The SCAA Event: Annual Coffeelands Preview

In less than one month the gavel will sound to open The SCAA Event.  That means it’s time for the annual Coffeelands preview of The Event’s best “origin content.” In my 2012 SCAA preview post, I divided my picks into three “streams of enlightenment”—“downstream” presentations that push knowledge of origin toward the marketplace, “upstream” presentations […]

Borderlands at the USBC Qualifying Event

Two days ago I announced our USBC Origins Project, an initiative designed to honor the growers behind the extraordinary coffees that will be served by the country’s best baristas at the USBC Finals in Atlanta in April. Today, I pause to celebrate the growers behind four coffees from our Borderlands project in Colombia and four […]

Research analysis: Farm labor in the Borderlands

Over the past two days, I published this summary of a peer-reviewed study based on data from our Borderlands project in Colombia and this interview with the study’s lead author. Today, I extract its key insights on farm labor, which include a characterization of farmworkers in the coffeelands as poorer and less educated than certified […]

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 […]

Nariño 2.0

Yesterday I suggested that an upgrade of Nariño’s coffee sector is underway—one that builds on the region’s rich tradition while innovating to further segment the region’s coffees and expand smallholder access to higher-value segments of the market.  That post highlighted the role that the Borderlands Advisory Council—a small group of U.S.-based coffee companies that has […]

Nariño’s Third Wave

Nariño, Colombia, strikes me as a coffee origin that everyone in coffee knows, but very few people in coffee know well. . . I have had the extraordinary good fortune to get to know Nariño better than most over the past four-plus years as director of our Borderlands Coffee Project there.  When I first started […]

“Eradication” and farm labor in the coffeelands

In this post more than two years ago, I juxtaposed Colombia’s long-standing and very deliberate efforts to eradicate coca with the more recent policies of the country’s coffee institutions, which I suggested may be contributing unintentionally to the eradication of the traditional coffee varieties that made Colombian coffee famous.  The post was inspired by my […]