Category: Policy

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 […]

Coffee Supply Chain’s Hidden Heroes

Hollywood loves a good comeback story.  So when I think of the struggles of a coffee community in Honduras called Opatoro, I can’t help but think of them in terms of a Hollywood script.  The pitch might go something like this: In 2012, Dunia Martínez, newly elected mayor of Opatoro in rural Honduras, began receiving […]

How can we encourage direct investment at the base of the coffee supply chain?

2015-06-08 Comments

Hugh and I are in the Netherlands, where we are getting ready to participate in the Sustainable Food Lab Summit, a meeting that gathers together different stakeholders in supply chains and facilitates a great discussion about finding solutions to ensure the future of our global supply chains. It is against this backdrop that I start […]

Coffee ground: The importance of soil health

In my last Coffeelands post, as part of our tribute to the International Year of Soils, I promised to seek out experts in the area of soil management and coffee production and to share their invaluable insights with you.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to look far.  My colleague, Luis Álvarez Welchez, knows soil and coffee.  […]

A (coffee-focused) David Letterman mash-up

Tonight is the last broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman.  In homage to his 33 years on the air, I offer this coffee-focused mash-up of the venerable “Top 10 List” and the comparatively lesser-known sketch “Is this anything?” The first needs no introduction; the second featured oddball performances by guests, then banter between […]

The FNC reacts to recommendations for reform

In 2013, Colombia was roiled by a series of strikes that started in the coffeelands but soon went national.  The coffee growers who catalyzed the wave of protests called for immediate price supports and reforms to the country’s coffee institutions. President Juan Manuel Santos granted the former and, with respect to the latter, convened a […]

Costs of production: Field data from Colombia

At The SCAA Event last month, our CIAT friend and colleague Mark Lundy presented the results of costs-of-production research we did together on the basis of 2013 data from our Borderlands Coffee Project in Colombia. Today I explore with Mark what we learned from those data and what implications they may have for coffee buyers […]

Greenwater and Bluewater

2015-05-07 Comments

Blue Water and Green Water This post builds on a recent post called “We all drink downstream”. Over the past decade, a lot of water terms have been introduced to policy debates and popular media: water foot printing, virtual water, and the concepts of blue water, green water, and grey water. These concepts are important […]

4 Perspectives on the Colombia Sensory Trial

I have been writing here about the Colombia Sensory Trial for more than a year.  With presentations of the findings coming up at Re:co Symposium in Sweden and the Nordic Roaster Forum in Denmark, there will certainly be more to say in the coming months. For now, however, I will let this topic rest, leaving […]