Tag Archives: Guatemala

427. A conversation with Ric Rhinehart on the future of coffee in Mesoamerica

Last week I participated in Let’s Talk Coffee, importer Sustainable Harvest’s annual value chain event, for the fifth time.  The content of the event was broader the caliber of the speakers higher than at any other LTC event I remember.  But the best presentation of the event—the one that still has me thinking the better […]

419. Coffee leaf rust update: Get the humanitarian aid ready

Back in May, FEWS NET predicted that coffee leaf rust would create a food security Crisis in coffee-growing regions in eastern and western Guatemala between July and September.  It did. Two weeks ago, FEWS NET issued this update on coffee leaf rust and food security in Central America that delivered more bad news: poor rainfall has […]

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 […]

388. Coffee leaf rust update: Guatemala

On Friday, the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) released a Special Report on coffee leaf rust and food security in Central America. Yesterday, I published this comment on the report and its (troubling) content. Beginning today, I will ask colleagues working in the coffelands in Central America to weigh in on the report […]

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 […]

360. Coffee rust: It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

With apologies to my doppelganger Michael Stipe for the title of this post, I cannot get this R.E.M. lyric out of my head after huddling in El Salvador for a week with colleagues from Central America to plan a response to the coffee rust epidemic. During the final day of the First International Coffee Rust […]

359. Coffee rust: Your tax dollars at work

Three years ago during the 2010 SCAA Expo, I gave this presentation on hunger in the coffeelands.  At that time, the issue did not have the kind of traction in the industry it does now.  Many people in the audience were still struggling to reconcile the extraordinary success of “sustainable coffees” in the marketplace with […]