Tomorrow I travel to Houston for the annual gathering of the SCAA. CRS has participated in some capacity in every SCAA since 2004, but this year is special. It marks our first time participating in Symposium, our first time with a booth on the show floor (#441) and the largest CRS delegation ever. With new projects scheduled to begin over the next year, we expect an even bigger and better presence in 2012. Meantime, here is the who, what and where of our participation in SCAA 2011.
Farmer organization representatives.
- “The 2 Jimmys” – Jimmy Chavarría and Orlando de Jesús (“Jimmy”) Hoyes from 5 de junio, a surging cooperative based in Las Sabanas, Nicaragua, that has been the cause of plenty of excitement on this blog.
- Andrés Aráuz – Manager of the CECOSEMAC cooperative in Nicaragua, whose 850 members grow coffee in more than 40 communities in Jinotega and Matagalpa.
- Antonio Pérez Ruíz – President of Maya Vinic, an extraordinary group of more than 400 farmers in the highlands of Chiapas that have emerged from impossibly difficult circumstances to achieve sustained success in specialty markets in the United States and Europe.
- Carlos Reynoso – Manager of the Manos Campesinas cooperative in Guatemala, which exports Fair Trade and organic coffee from 13 cooperatives, including two participating in the CAFE Livelihoods project: APECAFORM and ASOCAMPO.
- Ricardo Puente – Manager of the APECAFE cooperative in El Salvador, which markets coffee from nine primary cooperatives, including El Pinal, El Salto, Las Colinas and Las Cruces.
- Oscar Bayardo Torrez – President of the CECOSPROCAES cooperative in Jinotega, which was recently recognized as Nicaragua’s “Revelation Exporter” of the year for 2010.
- Pedro Ríos Cervantes – President of COCIHP, an organization of indigenous organizations in the Huasteca region of San Luis Potosí in Mexico that is participating in its first SCAA.
- Staff from CAFE Livelihoods and ACORDAR, two CRS coffee projects.
- Staff from the CRS Fair Trade Program.
- CIAT. Peter Laderach, CIAT’s guru for coffee quality research, traceability and climate change projections, will join us to share more about the innovative work that CIAT has done — both with CRS and with other important actors in coffee chains — around the issue of climate change and coffee.
- Cropster. Norbert Niederhauser, a former CIAT staffer and the visionary behind Cropster, will demonstrate the company’s C-sar information management platform — a flexible and robust approach that gives farmer organizations, importers and roasters easy access to the information they need to run their businesses with less uncertainty and more transparency.
- Between the meetings we have diligently scheduled and the serendipitous ones that make SCAA such a special encounter, we expect roasters, importers, financial service providers, certifiers, NGOs, bloggers and still others to be with us throughout the conference.
Participation in the Symposium sessions on “After the Harvest – Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands,” countless meetings, great coffee, and time to build relationships with old friends and new.