Tag Archives: Nicaragua

Zen and the Art of Natural Coffee

Last year, I waded into the debate on natural coffee with a post called “Natural Coffees – Good for Water Resources” concluding that, “I think that natural coffees should have a future, and that the coffee industry (from roasters to farmers) should invest in methods and systems to make natural coffees more consistent”. After that […]

Adding Spice to the Coffeelands in Nicaragua’s Dry Corridor

The coffeelands of Central America’s “dry corridor” are becoming major testing grounds of perseverance and innovation in the face of climate change. According to a report from the InterAmerican Institute for Agriculture Cooperation (IICA) in May 2015, “The Central American Dry Corridor and the Dry Arch area of Panama, given their long dry season and the […]

Knocking on Coffee’s Door: Cocoa’s Case as a Coffee Farm Alternative

2016-04-22 Comments

In previous Coffeelands posts we have written about the importance of diversifying smallholder coffee farms as a hedge against falling coffee prices, low coffee productivity resulting from disease (such as coffee leaf rust) and other factors. Diversification into other crops such as nuts, plantains and fruit, among others, also helps to ensure that a farmer […]

Conversations in PRM, part 4: PRM options for the individual smallholder

During the last months of 2015, I had posted a number of conversations regarding price risk management (Intro; part 1; part 2; part 3) all with the goal of better understanding the topic and how we might better use these tools to protect cooperatives and other farmer associations.  Today I want to pick up the […]

Beyond business as usual at La Revancha

The tools coffee companies use most commonly to identify and address challenges related to farm labor in their supply chains are certifications and third-party verifications.  There has been generally very little engagement by market actors beyond those approaches.  That’s what makes La Revancha, a coffee estate in Nicaragua, so extraordinary.  Ownership, management and labor at […]

Conversations in PRM, pt. 2 – prototyping future coffee farmers

If you wanted to make a prototype of what the future of coffee farming could look like – you’d make sure farmers had an entrepreneurial approach to farming coffee; that farmers understood and used the complex financial tools available to offset risk; and you’d imbue farmers with a sense of how to take advantage of […]

Side selling to the ghost of Hugo Chávez

Side-selling. Side selling refers to a situation where a producer (or cooperative) does not comply with a contract and chooses to sell their coffee to someone else. This can happen in markets with rising coffee prices, when the local price for the coffee exceeds the price agreed upon in a contract. When farmers, or their […]

448. USBC preview: Anna Utevsky and intentionality

The U.S. Barista Championship gets underway tomorrow in Long Beach.  The live broadcast of the competition will reach viewers in a place not accustomed to watching barista events. I’m not talking about Las Vegas, North Carolina. Or Holland, Michigan. Or even Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I am talking about Nariño, Colombia, where the farmers who grew Anna […]