Category: Climate Change

Get me SOM

2016-07-07 Comments

Over the past 18 months (and more), we’ve posted often on the critical role of soils in terms of sustainable coffee production and water resources management. With all we’ve written, if I had to choose one recommendation  for improving coffee farm management, it would be this: “Increase Soil Organic Matter” Soil Organic Matter is abbreviated as SOM. […]

Calculating Water Benefits on Coffee Farms

This a guest post by Will Garde, from the Caffeinated Engineer,  who has provided technical support to CRS’ Blue Harvest program this past year. Knowledge-based Coffee Watershed Management We know a lot about sustainable agricultural practices, and the specialty coffee industry has been a pioneer in incentivizing farmers to adapt good practices. But these practices, require time […]

Beyond the hot take on the Starbucks sustainability bond

A few weeks ago, Starbucks made an incredible announcement.  They were going to have nitro cold brew in their cafes!! I think this definitively answers the Symposium question, is cold brew a category or craze?  OK, OK.  I’m joking.  The real earth-shaker is that Starbucks has issued the first US corporate bond for sustainability.  The […]

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 […]

Coffee’s Water Footprint Needs to Be Revised

The Measure of Coffee’s Water Footprint Needs to Be Revised This 2003 study on coffee’s water footprint reported that it requires 140 liters of water to produce one cup of coffee. This metric is quoted so frequently (including by this blog) that it’s almost assumed to be a fact. However, the study needs a critical review because it is […]

The SCAA Event: Annual Coffeelands Preview

In less than one month the gavel will sound to open The SCAA Event.  That means it’s time for the annual Coffeelands preview of The Event’s best “origin content.” In my 2012 SCAA preview post, I divided my picks into three “streams of enlightenment”—“downstream” presentations that push knowledge of origin toward the marketplace, “upstream” presentations […]

Natural Coffees – good for water resources

2016-03-08 Comments

Six years ago, James Hoffman started a post on natural coffees saying, “You could say this debate is old news, but somehow it still seems to be rumbling on.” Well, I’m fairly new to specialty coffee, and I’m so green to natural coffees that I was surprised (and delighted) to discover there was a debate.  After studying […]

Analyze This: Getting to Know Soils in the Coffeelands

2016-02-24 Comments

A farmer must know his or her soil. I mean, really know it: what lives in it (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, etc.); what’s decomposing in it and how much (organic matter); how hungry it is (for certain types of nutrients); if it needs a drink or needs to dry out (moisture level); and how it’s feeling […]