Category: Policy

416. Colombia Sensory Trial

Back in January, I described our plans to stage a side-by-side sensory analysis of Castillo and Caturra samples grown by participants in our Borderlands Coffee Project in Colombia.  Originally, we had planned to do this exercise independently. But as we moved forward in our planning and began talking to more and more friends in coffee […]

414. CONPES 3763

CONPES 3763 may sound like the name of a coffee variety, but it’s not. (It’s not a Star Wars character, either.) CONPES is the Spanish-language acronym for Colombia’s National Council of Economic and Social Policy.  It is part of the country’s National Planning Department and advises the government on issues related to economic and social […]

371. World Coffee Development

Did I write yesterday in rebooting the blog that I will focus ruthlessly on our work in Colombia and Ecuador?  Yes.  And does this first post address something not directly related to our work in the field there?  Absolutely.  Why?  Because World Coffee Development might be the single most important thing the coffee sector does—or […]

361. What to do about coffee rust?

There has been a lot of talk in recent months about coffee leaf rust in Central America, including plenty here on this blog.  After months of talking with farmers, collecting data in the field, participating in international events, conferring with leaders in the coffee, government and research sectors, and investing private resources in a small-scale […]

352. Overheard at the Coffee Rust Summit

The first day of the First International Coffee Rust Summit is in the books.  My plans to Tweet from the event were foiled by connectivity problems.  Will try again on day two.  Meantime, here are some of the quotes and notes that stood out for me from the first full day of proceedings.

349. Coffee rust: Central America’s official plan of attack

This afternoon I will travel to Guatemala City to participate in four days of discussions around coffee rust convened by World Coffee Research and PROMECAFE, a network of national coffee programs in Central America and the Caribbean.  The objective of the meeting is to develop a more detailed strategy for responding to the coffee rust […]

345. Coffee rust: The long haul

The estimates of productive and economic losses to coffee leaf rust in Central America are nothing short of staggering.  Half of all coffee  affected.  Hundreds of millions of pounds of production losses projected.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs lost.  Economic losses running into the billions of dollars. Against this backdrop, we should not be surprised […]

343. Coffee rust: Deja vu all over again?

Last week, agricultural authorities and coffee organizations from Central America holed up in Panama for two days with research institutes, regional banks and UN agencies to try to hammer out a plan for responding to the coffee leaf rust outbreak.  As I trolled the web for news of the meeting’s results, I came across this […]

341. A closer look at Colombia’s coffee strike

Last week, Colombia’s government and disgruntled coffee growers reached agreement to end a strike in the coffeelands that was brief but messy, including clashes between coffee growers and Colombian security forces, expressions of solidarity by actors ranging from FARC guerrillas to an ex-president, official allegations of external agitation, and blockades of major highways that led […]

340. Pathological collaboration in a time of rust

During last year’s SCAA Symposium, Liam Brody of Root Capital urged participants to be “pathologically collaborative” in addressing the ills that continue to ail specialty coffee.  Peter Giuliano suggested soon afterward that Liam had “blown up the Twitterverse” with the memorable call to cooperation.  But the full echo of that call may only be sounding […]