In May, researchers at the Fairtrade, Employment and Poverty Reduction program at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London released a report based on four years of intensive field research in Ethiopia an Uganda whose findings were critical of Fair Trade’s record on farmworkers. I only just got around to reading the full […]
When I was an undergraduate, I watched more C-Span than I cared to admit. The parliamentary protocols of the U.S. House of Representatives became almost as familiar to me as the rites of the Catholic Mass, and the language members used as they rose to deliver comments on the floor etched itself in my memory: […]
Today is International Workers Day, also known as Labor Day throughout the coffeelands of Latin America. Seems like an appropriate day for me to share some reflections on the farmworker conversation I had the privilege to moderate during last week’s SCAA Expo. The post is unusually long because the conversation was uncommonly rich. Of all […]
Coffee may have something to learn from the mantra of the generals who ran the War Room during Bill Clinton’s 1994 campaign for president: it’s the economy market, stupid.
David Griswold, ex-President of the SCAA and co-founder of the innovative coffee importer Sustainable Harvest, asked a panel of coffee luminaries at last month’s Let’s Talk Coffee event in El Salvador if the coffee business is broken. The answer was a resounding yes.
The CRS Coffeelands Blog published perspectives from the intersection of coffee and international development from 2009-2013. We launched the blog because we believe that despite a quarter-century of investment and innovation to get closer to the source of our coffee, “there are still real opportunities for discovery and growth in terms of our understanding of […]
This week, more than 15 months after it broke with Fairtrade International and rewrote the rules of Fair Trade for the U.S. marketplace with its Fair Trade for All initiative, Fair Trade USA has advanced a plan to measure the impacts of FT4All on all coffee farmers and farmworkers in the Fair Trade system. The […]
For the second year in a row, the most popular posts to the CRS Coffeelands Blog were related to our coverage of changes in the Fair Trade system: posts on Fair Trade for All took seven of the 10 top spots for 2012. Rounding out the top 10 were posts on water resource management and […]
I published a series of posts last week that included observations and recommendations for the future of Fair Trade for All based on our experience in Colombia with one of the first Fair Trade Certification pilots for independent smallholder farmers. What I didn’t include was a description of a strategy we have applied in the […]
The world’s first Fair Trade Certification pilots with independent smallholder coffee farmers are winding down in Colombia. CRS supported one of those pilots. Based on that experience, we offer three recommendations for future pilots: two to ensure they generate the kind of rigorous, results-based evidence we believe should drive decisions about the future of Fair […]