Category: Farmworkers

Introducing The CRS Coffeelands Program

Back in July, the International Coffee Organization announced that 1 October would be International Coffee Day.  Ever since, it has been asking this question on its social media: “How are you celebrating International Coffee Day?”  Today, I am delighted to answer on behalf of CRS: by launching a global coffee program. . .

Take Action To Honor Coffee Farmworkers

Tomorrow marks the first-ever International Coffee Day. The International Coffee Organization (ICO) calls it “an opportunity for coffee lovers to share their love of the beverage and support the millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on the aromatic crop.” To mark the occasion, the ICO has launched a campaign with the international humanitarian organization Oxfam […]

You got the vocab?

In this post yesterday, I mentioned the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015, a bill currently in committee in both houses of Congress.  The proposed legislation includes detailed requirements on what and how U.S. companies with more than $100 million in annual sales revenues would be required to publicly disclose […]

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

As I was starting graduate school back in the year 2000, my wife and I bought a used Subaru Outback.  Once we did, we couldn’t help but notice how many there were on the road.  They seemed to be everywhere. Our purchase did not, of course, expand the universe of Outbacks or coincide with an […]

“Eradication” and farm labor in the coffeelands

In this post more than two years ago, I juxtaposed Colombia’s long-standing and very deliberate efforts to eradicate coca with the more recent policies of the country’s coffee institutions, which I suggested may be contributing unintentionally to the eradication of the traditional coffee varieties that made Colombian coffee famous.  The post was inspired by my […]

Can we afford to protect children in the coffee fields?

The text of the 2008 U.S. Farm Bill is more than 600 pages long.  Buried somewhere near the middle, under “Subtitle C–Miscellaneous,” is section 3205, which calls for the creation of a Consultative Group to Eliminate the Use of Child Labor and Forced Labor in Imported Agricultural Products.  Its mandate?  Recommend actions companies can take […]

Higher Wages, Great! But How to Afford?

Jennifer Medina is a national correspondent for The New York Times based in Los Angeles. A little over a week ago, she published an analysis of recent minimum wage legislation in the United States titled “Higher Wages, Great! But How to Enforce?” Today I take license with her title, take issue with her analysis, and […]

Farmworkers and Policy: New Global Coffee Frontiers

In May, The Guardian published this article declaring “smallholder farmers are the new global food frontier.” The author is Hugh Locke, president and co-founder of a Haitian non-profit called Smallholder Farmers Alliance.  He reminds readers that smallholders produce 70 percent of the world’s food, argues that we are not positioning them for success and issues […]

Inconceivable!

In my family, the 1987 film “The Princess Bride” is something of a tradition. I showed it to our kids early (perhaps too early for the younger ones) and we watch it often. For better or worse, references to its many memorable lines now punctuate conversations in our house. But there is one trope in […]