The Direct Trade-v-Fair Trade debate resurfaced here last week. I weighed in on that debate here yesterday. Today I want to explore a related idea: that the leading proponents of these two trading models may have communicated themselves into corners from which they can’t easily extricate themselves even though they desperately need to. Direct Trade […]
When the Fair World Project published this comparison of select brands in the U.S. coffee market last year, I was sorely tempted to respond here. To explain publicly what was happening privately: that I was being asked by Fair Trade roasters in the upper tiers to arrange meetings with Direct Trade roasters in lower tiers […]
In this post yesterday, I mentioned the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015, a bill currently in committee in both houses of Congress. The proposed legislation includes detailed requirements on what and how U.S. companies with more than $100 million in annual sales revenues would be required to publicly disclose […]
Over the past two years, we have been working with colleagues in the coffee and nonprofit sectors to better understand farmworker issues in the coffeelands. In the process, we have boosted our farmworker IQ and busted some commonly held myths about farm labor in the coffee sector, like this one: MYTH: Farm labor is only […]
The CRS Coffeelands Blog turned five in November. Here is the content from the blog’s fifth year that you, the readers, liked the best. Or rather, it is is the content you read the most, since in some cases you did not care too much for what I had to say.
I have been writing for a long time. Extensively. As a student, a journalist, a researcher and a blogger. Since the mid-1990s, when I did a few brief stints at newspapers in Latin America, that writing has often been for external audiences. In writing, I take great care in choosing my words. On this blog, […]
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: […]
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.