Category: Markets

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 […]

Win-win: Blue Harvest providing solutions that help cooperatives get back on their feet while PROTECTING WATER

In Blue Harvest, we have been working on improving water use efficiency and waste water treatment in wet mills, protecting water recharge areas in the farms by applying soil and water conservation practices (here and here) with a focus on regenerative coffee , as well as working with water system operators and water committees to […]

Matchmaking at the SCA Expo

It’s Spring again… Green is starting to appear in the northern latitudes, the NBA playoffs are just around the corner, you realize that you haven’t filed your taxes yet, and the annual Specialty Coffee Association’s Expo is coming up.  This year will be my fifth consecutive year attending – I’m starting to feel like a “local,” […]

Parsing apart the SCA report on farm profitability

2017-11-15 Comments

Following the recent Avance coffee sustainability conference held in Guatemala, the SCA released a report that analyzed existing public information about farm profitability and costs. The authors conducted a meta-analysis of reliable cost of production data available to them. Shockingly, the analysts only found nine studies and publications from around the world that they considered […]

Farmgate Price: An Important – but Partial – Piece of the Sustainability Puzzle

2017-09-19 Comments

In March, I wrote about my reaction to Kickapoo Coffee publishing a minimum FOB price for all their coffees. That article focused on Kickapoo and other efforts to make pricing more transparent – an aspect of the specialty coffee business that can be quite murky. I had 3 takeaways of things that I liked about […]

Robusta farmers rewarded for quality in the 2nd Taza Dorada

The Coffeelands blogs suffers from a few coffee prejudices, which we readily admit to.  Our geographical base is in Central America and therefore our coverage tends to be towards issues that are of great concern in this part of the world.  We’re unabashedly Arabica centric as well.  You’ll find it in our daily drink and […]

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 […]