Category: Policy

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 […]

Sustainable Development Goal for Water

The Sustainable Development Goal for Water This weekend, the UN will launch the new Sustainable Development Goals. These goals build from the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were a driver for the world’s development priorities from 1990-2015. MDG #7 focused on the environment with a sub-target devoted to water, including a target to “halve, by 2015, the […]

Nariño 2.0

Yesterday I suggested that an upgrade of Nariño’s coffee sector is underway—one that builds on the region’s rich tradition while innovating to further segment the region’s coffees and expand smallholder access to higher-value segments of the market.  That post highlighted the role that the Borderlands Advisory Council—a small group of U.S.-based coffee companies that has […]

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 […]

“Nano” finance? Village savings and loans groups filling the gaps that microfinance can’t reach

2015-08-17 Comments

In a few of my recent posts, I have juxtaposed the amount of investment that is directed to the retail end of the supply chain (for example, $70 million for Blue Bottle, $9 million for a “bulletproof” coffee retail chain, etc.) versus the amount that is directed to the most vulnerable end of the supply […]

Colombia Sensory Trial: Re:co Symposium Video and Resource Page

Yesterday our friends at the Specialty Coffee Association of America uploaded this video of my Colombia Sensory Trial presentation to Re:co Symposium in Gothenburg, Sweden, in June. . . It was the second time in three months I had the opportunity to deliver to industry leaders the results of our sensory research collaboration with the […]

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 […]

It takes a village… to save the disappearing small farmer

A few weeks ago, NPR ran an article on the disappearing smallholder cocoa farmer.  A few days ago, Michael brought our attention to a Guardian article on the plight of small farmers globally, and gently reminded us that this isn’t a new story, especially not for specialty coffee. The list of challenges for small farmers […]