I have made my pre-conference picks for the highlights of the conference for anyone interested in the intersection between specialty coffee and development: lectures that seem to hold the most promise to illuminate some of the persistent challenges in the coffeelands — and some of the most promising approaches to addressing them. Biggest disappointment: nothing on the agenda about climate change and the threat it poses to specialty coffee.
I have been writing a bit over the past few days about food security in coffee communities. When I write about “food security,” what I am really talking about is hunger. People can suffer from hunger when the answer to any of the following three questions is “no”: Is there enough food for people to eat? Can people get the food? Do people make use of the food?
I must admit that I have had a hard time getting into barista competitions. Living and working in the coffeelands where so many smallholder farmers work so hard in total obscurity to grow the great coffee that fuels — quite literally — the hyper-caffeinated gatherings of the SCAA and the Barista Guild makes it hard for me to accept the swagger of baristas who produce beverages that seem only very remotely to qualify as “coffee.” So you can imagine my delight when Sustainable Harvest had the inspired idea to bring champion baristas to origin during the 2009 edition of Let’s Talk Coffee to live a few days in the life of a coffee farmer.
There are crises everyday in the coffeelands. Not macroeconomic crises, but household dramas with high stakes — the education, nutrition and health of family members often hang in the balance as these crises play themselves out in relative obscurity.
Welcome to the CRS Coffeelands Blog. Why do I think we need another blog on coffee? Because even now in our current state of hyerconnectivity and infomediation, there are still real possibilities for discovery and growth in terms of our understanding of the coffeelands.