Tag Archives: El Salvador

450. What difference does policy make?

The sustainability conversation in specialty coffee has evolved in important ways since I first tuned in more than 10 years ago.  I find it to be more robust.  More nuanced.  More mature.  And, well…just more. The list of topics on the industry’s sustainability agenda is longer than it was a decade ago.  One topic that […]

443. A Malacara reunion

Back in September, I published this interview with my colleague Ivania, who was born as a landless worker on Finca Malacara, one of El Salvador’s most storied coffee estates. I was moved by Ivania’s story.  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. José Guillermo Álvarez Prunera, the Finca Malacara owner affectionately known as “Epe,” was so […]

423. Born into coffee: Observations from a third-generation colono in El Salvador

From 2008-2011, I was involved in a CRS coffee project in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua called CAFE Livelihoods.  In late 2008, I convened the project teams from each of the four countries for the first time in Managua.  To open the first session, I paired each person with a colleague from another country […]

418. My summer in coffee

I am back in the office today after a long summer holiday in the United States.  The best thing about my annual visit to the States–after spending quality time with my family and friends, of course–is the coffee. This summer the coffee was especially good.  With this variation on the “what-I-did-this-summer” back-to-school essay, I want […]

409. The coming crisis in the coffeelands

The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) released another update on the food security situation in Central America last week.  I have not been working directly on our response to coffee leaf rust in Central America, and I have not been publishing much here lately.  But I felt compelled by a “lost-in-translation” moment in […]

398. Water, water everywhere

Water seemed to be everywhere in the coffee news last week, and the biggest headlines were reserved for TOMS, which is expanding from shoes and fashion accessories into specialty coffee, and bringing its One-for-One approach with it: for each bag of coffee it sells, TOMS will deliver a week of water to a person in […]

387. Coffee leaf rust update: Stressed acute food insecurity

Editor’s Note: This post has been revised to include additonal detail about the “stressed acute food insecurity” classification applied to Guatemala and Honduras by FEWS NET. – – – – – The Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET), a USAID-funded initiative that monitors hunger in chronically food insecure countries around the world, late last week […]

365. This is what vulnerability looks like

As a principle, I believe that we learn better from direct experience than from books and data and graphics.  And as a matter of experience, I know that traveling to the coffeelands can be a source of endless illumination about the secret lives of coffee farmers.  Nothing helps us understand the vulnerability of poor households […]

362. Coffee rust and farmworkers

Our work in the coffeelands over the past 10 years has focused on small-scale family farmers, but we recognize that the seasonal laborers who pick coffee, often migrants, are arguably the most vulnerable actors in the coffee chain.  And there are a lot of them.  According to PROMECAFE data, more than 1.7 million people work […]