Category: Policy

CRS Policy Brief: Slave labor in Brazilian coffee. (And what we can do about it.)

2016-04-13 Comments

When we learned in the summer of 2013 that inspectors from Brazil’s Ministry of Labor found evidence that 15 coffee farms had employed workers under what the country calls “conditions analogous to slavery,” we were shocked.  The revelation raised lots of questions: What does “slavery” mean in Brazil in 2013?  How widespread is the practice […]

Coffee’s Water Footprint Needs to Be Revised

The Measure of Coffee’s Water Footprint Needs to Be Revised This 2003 study on coffee’s water footprint reported that it requires 140 liters of water to produce one cup of coffee. This metric is quoted so frequently (including by this blog) that it’s almost assumed to be a fact. However, the study needs a critical review because it is […]

Review: Danwatch exposé on slavery in Brazilian coffee

2016-03-07 Comments

Last week, the Danish human rights organization Danwatch released this hard-hitting exposé on modern slavery in Brazil’s coffee sector.  Rather than summarize its key findings, we suggest anyone interested in farm labor, the future of coffee supply, or the evolving conversation on coffee sustainability should read it in its entirety.  Instead, we offer something closer […]

Washington closes forced labor loophole

2016-03-03 Comments

The biggest news in coffee last week did not come out of Portland or Seattle or LA, but out of Washington: President Obama signed the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 into law.  Here’s what it has to do with coffee. . .

Analyze This: Getting to Know Soils in the Coffeelands

2016-02-24 Comments

A farmer must know his or her soil. I mean, really know it: what lives in it (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, etc.); what’s decomposing in it and how much (organic matter); how hungry it is (for certain types of nutrients); if it needs a drink or needs to dry out (moisture level); and how it’s feeling […]

CRS Coffeelands Blog Year in Review

Today, the annual review of the Coffeelands content you liked best over the past year. .