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370. Don’t call it a comeback

In my last post, I turned the lights out at the CRS Coffeelands Blog with a resolution to do more and write less.  As it turns out, doing and writing aren’t as incompatible as I thought.  In fact, they can be mutually reinforcing.  The writing on this blog that sparked conversation in the past–some online, most offline–helped to shape the way we went about the doing, invariably improving the quality of our work in the field and our engagement in the marketplace.

The truth is, I have enjoyed the “blogging dividend” over the past few months–the time I used to devote to blogging that I could instead dedicate to participating more fully in project activities in the field.  I think in some ways the quality of our work has improved as a result.  But there were also many times during that stretch when we needed a sounding board beyond our project team and our inner circle of industry allies and advisors.  The kind of sounding board the blog provided reliably for years.

So we are rebooting the CRS Coffeelands Blog.

For my part, I will focus more ruthlessly on our work in Colombia and Ecuador, where we are promoting farmer organization and quality-based differentiation to expand participation in the specialty Arabica market and the emerging fine Robusta market, respectively.  And where we are also trying to influence the way the coffee trade works, contributing to changes in public policy and private-sector practices to make coffee chains more inclusive, more environmentally sustainable, and more profitable for everyone involved.

For urgent issues in coffee sustainability outside the geography of the Borderlands project, I will try to secure contributions from my colleagues battling coffee leaf rust and working to improve water resource management in the coffeelands of Central America.  Conserving forests and seeking markets in Haiti.  Promoting specialty coffee amid conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  And fighting hunger in coffee communities in East Africa.


  • Michael Zelmer says:


    I’m sure I’m not the only one elated by your announcement. The contributions you’ve made through the Coffeelands blog over the years have been immense, and I’m happy to know they’ll continue. The slightly revised focus and format sound very good as well.

  • P Baker says:

    Very pleased to read this – we desperately need voices from origin like yours telling us what is going on.

  • Matt Earley says:

    Like I told you, Michael– you are the coffee blogging equivalent of Jay-Z coming out of retirement. Really glad to have you and this forum back up and running.

    Looking forward to reading and interacting with you and everyone reading.


  • Matt Warning says:

    I’m in the elated camp as well!

  • Ken Calvert says:

    Only eager to assist and crosslink when it comes to matters of processing
    coffee and more particularly treatment of coffee wastes to useful products.
    Good to see you back again. Ken C.

  • Hugh Aprile says:

    Michael- I realize how much time this takes, and appreciate your willingness to continue with this important effort. Welcome back!

  • mark glenn says:

    I am so pleased to hear this Michael. Your blog posts have been missed by many. Welcome back.

    • Michael Sheridan says:

      Mark, Hugh, Peter K, Peter B, Matt E, Matt W, Ken and Michael:

      Thanks for the kind welcome back!


  • Whatever we’re calling it Michael, I for one am glad! Just noticed that you’ve started posting again 🙂

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