Tag Archives: business models

Nariño’s Third Wave

2015-09-21 Comments Off on Nariño’s Third Wave

Nariño, Colombia, strikes me as a coffee origin that everyone in coffee knows, but very few people in coffee know well. . . I have had the extraordinary good fortune to get to know Nariño better than most over the past four-plus years as director of our Borderlands Coffee Project there.  When I first started […]

308. Sustainable Harvest and “Relationship Coffee”

2012-10-04 Comments Off on 308. Sustainable Harvest and “Relationship Coffee”

I am in Colombia this week with 20 CRS colleagues, partners and project participants from Latin America and the Caribbean to participate in Let’s Talk Coffee, the innovative value chain event that Sustainable Harvest created 10 years ago.  I see lots of opportunities for learning in the event’s exciting agenda, which includes a wide range […]

268. “Whole-of-business” trading solutions

2012-05-07 Comments Off on 268. “Whole-of-business” trading solutions

In this article in the current issue of Roast Magazine, Fair Trade USA CEO Paul Rice again expresses optimism about the future of Fair Trade Certification in the United States.  Before you panic, let me say this is not another post about Fair Trade for All.  At least, it is mostly not.  Mostly, it is […]

267. “The Sweet Spot”

Comments Off on 267. “The Sweet Spot”

Last week I asked whether bigger is better when it comes to how much impact coffee companies can have on their partners at origin.  Today, I wonder whether there is a “sweet spot” between “Small is Beautiful” and “Bigger is Better” from which coffee companies can combine the best of both.

266. Is bigger necessarily better?

2012-05-02 Comments Off on 266. Is bigger necessarily better?

During this year’s SCAA Symposium and Expo, and the inevitable slate of follow-up calls the week after, the issue of size kept coming up in my conversations.  There was the roaster that bemoaned how small it was, wishing it could do more to meet the demands of its partners.  There was the roaster that felt […]

246. How to invest at origin?

2012-02-24 Comments Off on 246. How to invest at origin?

For pioneering roasters and importers whose interest in sustainability goes beyond sourcing certified coffees, the question may not be whether to reinvest at origin, but how?  Is it best to go it alone, reinvesting in the farmers who grow your coffee and their communities?  Or is it better to work collaboratively at origin with the […]

216. The CRS Coffeelands Blog turns 2

2011-11-09 Comments Off on 216. The CRS Coffeelands Blog turns 2

Today the CRS Coffeelands Blog celebrates the second anniversary of its inaugural post back on 9 November 2009.  The blog has managed to turn our experience in CAFE Livelihoods and other projects at origin into more than 200 original posts over the past two years — posts that have  generated thoughtful discussion among leading figures […]

200. The Reporting Collaborative

2011-09-26 Comments Off on 200. The Reporting Collaborative

This month, I have returned to an issue that has been a favorite here: reinvestment in the coffeelands.  Last week, I summarized the results of the SCAA survey on industry giving at origin and mentioned two of the SCAA’s conclusions: most companies “lack a structured approach to giving” and don’t necessarily get all the information […]

199. SCAA survey: How the industry gives

2011-09-21 Comments Off on 199. SCAA survey: How the industry gives

More than a year ago, I received an invitation from the SCAA (along with 4,013 others, it seems) to respond to its “Philanthropic Activity Survey.”  Today, I finally got to see the results, which suggest that the industry and the beneficiaries of its philanthropy may benefit from a more deliberate form of reinvestment in the […]