During the SCAA Strategic Leadership Summit in Seattle back in September, I noticed that Mark Stell of Portland Roasting was wearing a red plastic slap bracelet. I am not a particular fan of plastic accessories, even when they are used to raise funds or awareness for a worthy cause. I assume they mostly wind up […]
Manuel Díaz is an independent consultant who helped CQI create its new R standards, which aim to do for Robustas what the Q standards have done for Arabicas. His presentation on Day Two of the 2013 edition of Let’s Talk Robusta reinforced the central appeal of the brilliant keynote delivered on Day One by Ken […]
The impacts of microlots on smallholder farmers has been a topic of discussion on this blog dating back to 2010. The research on the issue to date is largely inconclusive, and powerful critiques of the microlot model have been leveled by influential actors in specialty coffee who question the inclusiveness and impact of the Direct […]
Nariño is a coffee-growing region on Colombia’s southern border with Ecuador that is renowned for the quality of its coffee but remains the source of relatively few coffees sourced directly by roasters paying premiums for coffees of extraordinary quality. The CRS Borderlands Coffee Project has enlisted the support of an Advisory Board that includes six […]
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 […]
Yesterday I shared some data showing how Castillo and Caturra samples performed as part of the baseline survey for our Borderlands Coffee Project. As I reflected on the quantitative results, which showed a narrow but persistent advantage for Caturra and a slightly higher upper bound, I wondered whether there was a quantitative difference between the […]
I recently concluded a series that examined the current campaign by Colombia’s coffee authorities to replace the country’s traditional coffee cultivars with the disease-resistant Castillo hybrid as part of their response to the coffee leaf rust epidemic. As part of that series, I wrote: At the risk of oversimplification, the debate has been framed by […]
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.
The Castillo cultivar has been the subject of considerable discussion and no small amount of controversy in the marketplace in recent years. At the risk of oversimplification, the debate has been framed by two positions: that of representatives of Colombia’s Federación Nacional de Cafeteros, who insist that Castillo will thrive in the specialty market because […]