Author Archives: Coffeelands Staff

Research analysis: Farm labor in the Borderlands

Over the past two days, I published this summary of a peer-reviewed study based on data from our Borderlands project in Colombia and this interview with the study’s lead author. Today, I extract its key insights on farm labor, which include a characterization of farmworkers in the coffeelands as poorer and less educated than certified […]

Research analysis: coffee certification and specialization in the Borderlands

Yesterday I summarized the key findings of a study in the current issue of Food Policy that is based on data from our Borderlands project in Colombia. Today, I discuss the content and implications of that article with its lead author, Wytse Vellema, a Ph.D. candidate at Ghent University in Belgium. The highlights of my […]

New research from the Borderlands

Our Borderlands Coffee Project in Nariño, Colombia, includes a research partnership with our friends at CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia. The collaboration allows us to use the project as a platform for field research, generate results-based evidence, and support decision-making at multiple levels: on the farm, in the policymaking process […]

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 […]

“Field baristas”

United Farm Workers, the iconic farmworker union started by César Chávez during the 1960s, may be most closely associated with California, but it has been working in the coffeelands since 2012. . . Erik Nicholson, a national Vice President at UFW, has been leading the charge.  He has been working tirelessly for farmworker justice for […]

The CRS Coffeelands Advisory Council

Last week, we celebrated International Coffee Day by announcing a $4.5 million commitment to establish the CRS Coffeelands Program, a global effort to pursue our vision for the future of the coffee sector: smallholder coffee growers who are organized, profitable and resilient; coffee farmworkers who are dignified, engaged and empowered; and coffee-growing landscapes that build […]

Introducing The CRS Coffeelands Program

Back in July, the International Coffee Organization announced that 1 October would be International Coffee Day.  Ever since, it has been asking this question on its social media: “How are you celebrating International Coffee Day?”  Today, I am delighted to answer on behalf of CRS: by launching a global coffee program. . .

Take Action To Honor Coffee Farmworkers

Tomorrow marks the first-ever International Coffee Day. The International Coffee Organization (ICO) calls it “an opportunity for coffee lovers to share their love of the beverage and support the millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on the aromatic crop.” To mark the occasion, the ICO has launched a campaign with the international humanitarian organization Oxfam […]

Nariño 2.0

Yesterday I suggested that an upgrade of Nariño’s coffee sector is underway—one that builds on the region’s rich tradition while innovating to further segment the region’s coffees and expand smallholder access to higher-value segments of the market.  That post highlighted the role that the Borderlands Advisory Council—a small group of U.S.-based coffee companies that has […]

Nariño’s Third Wave

Nariño, Colombia, strikes me as a coffee origin that everyone in coffee knows, but very few people in coffee know well. . . I have had the extraordinary good fortune to get to know Nariño better than most over the past four-plus years as director of our Borderlands Coffee Project there.  When I first started […]