I am in Colombia this week with 20 CRS colleagues, partners and project participants from Latin America and the Caribbean to participate in Let’s Talk Coffee, the innovative value chain event that Sustainable Harvest created 10 years ago. I see lots of opportunities for learning in the event’s exciting agenda, which includes a wide range […]
In this article in the current issue of Roast Magazine, Fair Trade USA CEO Paul Rice again expresses optimism about the future of Fair Trade Certification in the United States. Before you panic, let me say this is not another post about Fair Trade for All. At least, it is mostly not. Mostly, it is […]
Last week I asked whether bigger is better when it comes to how much impact coffee companies can have on their partners at origin. Today, I wonder whether there is a “sweet spot” between “Small is Beautiful” and “Bigger is Better” from which coffee companies can combine the best of both.
During this year’s SCAA Symposium and Expo, and the inevitable slate of follow-up calls the week after, the issue of size kept coming up in my conversations. There was the roaster that bemoaned how small it was, wishing it could do more to meet the demands of its partners. There was the roaster that felt […]
Last week I asked whether it is better for roasters and importers to reinvest at origin individually or collaboratively. Those who do choose to reinvest at origin may ask the same question when they are deciding how to assess the social return on their investments.
For pioneering roasters and importers whose interest in sustainability goes beyond sourcing certified coffees, the question may not be whether to reinvest at origin, but how? Is it best to go it alone, reinvesting in the farmers who grow your coffee and their communities? Or is it better to work collaboratively at origin with the […]
Today the CRS Coffeelands Blog celebrates the second anniversary of its inaugural post back on 9 November 2009. The blog has managed to turn our experience in CAFE Livelihoods and other projects at origin into more than 200 original posts over the past two years — posts that have generated thoughtful discussion among leading figures […]
This month, I have returned to an issue that has been a favorite here: reinvestment in the coffeelands. Last week, I summarized the results of the SCAA survey on industry giving at origin and mentioned two of the SCAA’s conclusions: most companies “lack a structured approach to giving” and don’t necessarily get all the information […]
More than a year ago, I received an invitation from the SCAA (along with 4,013 others, it seems) to respond to its “Philanthropic Activity Survey.” Today, I finally got to see the results, which suggest that the industry and the beneficiaries of its philanthropy may benefit from a more deliberate form of reinvestment in the […]
A little over a year ago, in a post on industry reinvestment at origin, I raised the prospect of “harmonized investment” — complementary, non-overlapping investments in the coffeelands by diverse actors on the coffee chain. Recent events have inspired me to revisit the idea.