Category: Farmworkers

The Price of Distortion – speculation and alternative trade models in coffee

After my recent posts on the Scandal of the C-Price, I reached out to Adam Kline, founder and CEO of Coffee Unified, for his insights. Adam has a career in the coffee trade: as an importer, coffee buyer, and now as a development entrepreneur in the coffee sector with Coffee Unified. We’ve edited our many […]

Proposing an alternative benchmark for coffee prices: The C-5

There is an urgent need to fix the coffee market: to reduce price volatility and ensure that a fairer share of coffee revenue reaches farmers and farmworkers. In a recent post, I made the point that the coffee market is unjust because farmers and farmworkers bare a disproportionate amount of risk and remain poor, while […]

Extreme Price Volatility Undermines the Coffee Sector

In a recent post, I wrote that the C-Price for coffee is flawed and there is an urgent need for viable solutions to improve the coffee market. The post was picked up by Daily Coffee News and got a lot of attention – both positive and negative, which is well appreciated. The goal of the original post […]

Scandal of the C-Price

2018-09-13 Comments

“Finance overwhelms the real economy.”* This is a point from Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on the environment and poverty. This phrase helps to explain what’s happening in the coffee sector. The “real economy” of the coffee sector consists of: millions of farmers and farmworkers who produce the world’s coffee, millers and roasters who […]

Thoughts on the UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Merger

Over the past 36 months, the coffee industry has seen a wave of consolidations roll through the retail/manufacturing sector and those of us on the sidelines have been trying to figure out what it all means (see Sara Morrocchi’s great talk at Re:co Dublin last year). While some argued that consolidation was going to be […]

A closer look at what a $2.75 /lb. FOB minimum price means

A few weeks ago, Kickapoo Coffee Roasters publicly committed to paying farmers in their supply chain a minimum of $2.75 FOB per lb. FOB (FOB stands for Free on Board, which means this is the price of the coffee ready for export) for all of Kickapoo’s green coffee purchases.  Their press release says that it […]

Coffee’s role in the future of a peaceful Colombia

A few weeks ago, some exciting and hopeful news came out of Colombia.  You might have missed it, as It was predictably lost in the news cycle which was dominated by the horrific mass shooting in an Orlando night club; the permissive gun laws in the US; the Brexit and its global economic ramifications; the […]

Brazil’s Congress convenes hearing on modern slavery in the coffee sector

Next week, a public hearing in Brazil’s Câmara dos Deputados will explore the issue of modern slavery in the country’s coffee sector.  The Human Rights Commission and the Labor Commission have jointly convened the gathering, scheduled for Wednesday, 15 June at 2 pm in meeting room #9.  The event was organized by the Articulação dos Empregados […]

Brazil’s Supreme Court lifts ban on “Dirty List”

Brazil’s Supreme Court has lifted its injunction on one of the most powerful and distinctive tools in the country’s campaign to eradicate slave labor, clearing the way for its reinstatement after a suspension that lasted nearly 17 months.  The “Dirty List”—a public registry of employers found by the Ministry of Labor to be employing workers […]