Today I am bringing the CRS Coffeelands Blog to an end. Other, more influential coffee blogs have already gone dark, and many of the sentiments their authors conveyed in their farewell posts resonate deeply with me: it has been great fun; it has been more work than I expected; the digital echo chamber can be […]
Focusing on the little things during three days in the field in Nariño.
Since last fall, I have been directing the CRS Borderlands Coffee Project in Colombia and Ecuador. As I transition into a new role with CRS, I am hiring my replacement. I will continue to work on the Borderlands project in an advisory role, but we need someone else to lead it. The successful candidate will […]
At the conclusions of the First International Coffee Rust Summit in Guatemala last month, the noted coffee agronomist Peter Baker confided to me that he did not think the event answered the most important question: “The Beyoncé Question.” I was confused. He elaborated: “It’s a line from one of her songs: ‘Who run this mother?’” […]
On our Borderlands Coffee Project, we are working with more than 3,000 smallholder coffee farmers in the Andean highlands of Nariño in Colombia and the steamy Amazon lowlands of northern Ecuador. The area in Ecuador where the project is working is a source of endless cultural fascination for me, home to three distinct groups of […]
CRS works with more than 35,000 smallholder coffee farmers in 12 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. The Coffeelands Portrait Project will introduce you to some of them. Today’s post explains the project’s origins and approach; today’s inaugural gallery features 10 gorgeous portraits of farmers participating in our Borderlands Coffee Project in Colombia.
Last week, the Coffeelands Blog marked the third anniversary of its first post. It has been a good year for the blog. Unfortunately, that is due in part to the fact that it has been such a difficult year for Fair Trade.
A light that burned brightly for nearly 50 years on the shores of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala has gone dark: Fr. Greg Schaffer of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, died last week. During nearly a half-century of committed ministry, Fr. Greg accompanied the mostly indigenous community of San Lucas Tolimán through a painful civil […]
Yesterday I spent a day in the field here in Colombia as part of the baseline study for our Borderlands Coffee Project. The first farm we visited provided a very pleasant surprise — a rustic sugar cane press. I fondly recall first chewing on sugar cane more than 15 years ago as a volunteer in […]
This week I am in Pasto — a small, vibrant city in the southern Colombian department of Narino, and the base of operations for our Borderlands Coffee Project. There is a lot to like about Pasto: great people, a bustling downtown and a stunning setting — the city is slung against mountains that rise steeply […]