Yesterday — day three of Food Security Solutions — we began the day by dividing into groups again to begin another two-day workshop. In the evening, we ended the day by coming together to discuss an issue that affects us all and will shape the food security lanscape for generations to come — climate change. In between, I found time to visit with farmers and staff of CECOCAFEN and spend some time with the very talented photographer Clay Enos.
Yesterday the coffee and mushroom workshop at Food Security Solutions moved from talk to action.
I spent the first day of the Food Security Solutions event here in Nicaragua with a few dozen coffee farmers talking about — and searching for — mushrooms. Today was (mostly) talk. We were sent on a scavenger hunt during the lunch recess, tasked with finding big, beautiful or otherwise notable mushrooms. Here are some samples of the incredible finds that people made.
In a few minutes I will leave the swelter of Managua and drive to the cool shade of the coffeelands overlooking Matagalpa for a four-day workshop where dozens of smallholder coffee farmers from across Mexico and Central America will gather to talk about something other than coffee: how to reduce hunger in the coffeelands.
Jaime Molina — a member of the 5 de junio cooperative that participates in the CRS CAFE Livelihoods project — took 2d place in last month’s Nicaragua Cup of Excellence competition. We can’t take credit for Jaime’s coffee, but we sure will work to figure out what exactly he is doing right and try to share it with other farmers in the project. Congratulations, Jaime, and good luck at auction!
The Fair Trade v. Direct Trade debate — to the extent that people are still having it — is fueled by caricatures of each approach that may reflect some grain of truth but ultimately misrepresent the realities of both.
Over the past week and a half, I have been posting on the issue of how coffee companies are investing at origin. Today: what they are investing in, and how that may be changing.
Over the the past few months, I have found myself talking with a broad range of stakeholders in the specialty coffee industry about how coffee companies are investing at origin. Here are some reflections on what I am hearing in those discussions and seeing in the field, and some ideas about the directions in which industry engagement in the coffeelands may be moving.
A number of people who attended the Hunger in the Coffeelands panel at SCAA on Saturday asked for a copy of my presentation. Here it is.
When I recently tried to summarize SCAA for CRS staff and partners in the coffeelands, I realized just what a circus SCAA really is! That’s why we asked our CAFE Livelihoods partner Cooperative Coffees to help us create a farmer’s guide to the event.