Category: Coffee Research

236. 2012: The year of the impact-at-origin baseline?

I had a long conversation last week with a specialty coffee luminary that ended in a surprising statement about how little the industry really understands about its impact at origin after all these years. We talked about the state of sustainability in the coffee industry in general, and the current controversy in the Fair Trade […]

230. Closing (and opening) the books on CAFE

Our CAFE Livelihoods project closed on 30 September 2011 after three years of work with more than 7,000 smallholder farmers in Mexico and Central America.   Since then, we have been collecting and analyzing the final data from the project, and recently submitted the CAFE Livelihoods Final Report to the donor. We also asked researchers at […]

226. CAFE: Trading data and infographics, v 2

Last week I posted some final sales data from our recently concluded CAFE Livelihoods project.  It provoked some thoughtful comments and rich discussion, most of which centered around the flaws in the presentation of the data.  I look forward to revisiting the issue of assessing impact at origin in the New Year.  In the meantime, […]

225. CAFE: Trading data and infographics

Earlier this week, two academics published an insightful Fair Trade infographic that sheds some light on the current rift in the Fair Trade movement. Today, I try my hand at putting data from our CAFE Livelihoods project into an infographic that may contribute to the discussion.  Our project data from the 2010/11 harvest suggest that […]

224. Beauty and brains – Fair Trade infographics

Last night, a grad student from the pioneering agroecology department at UC Santa Cruz turned me on to some recently published infographics on the Fair Trade system.  (Thanks, Nick.)  I am publishing a link to the graphs here because they are a pleasure to behold.  And they also help, at a time of great upheaval […]

220. Telling stories from origin

Competition is intensifying at origin, and not just for roasters trying to source extraordinary coffees.  It is true in the international development field, too.  Donors are demanding more accountability and more compelling evidence that their investments are generating social impact. In the area where I have focused most of my professional energies over the past […]

199. SCAA survey: How the industry gives

More than a year ago, I received an invitation from the SCAA (along with 4,013 others, it seems) to respond to its “Philanthropic Activity Survey.”  Today, I finally got to see the results, which suggest that the industry and the beneficiaries of its philanthropy may benefit from a more deliberate form of reinvestment in the […]

196. The GCQRI development agenda

The Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative’s (GCQRI) Research Planning committee met in Nicaragua back in April to sketch out a preliminary five-year strategic research plan.  The meeting produced two research agendas — one for coffee supply and another for coffee quality. On the supply side, there are two places where GCQRI and the international development […]