A little over a year ago, in a post on industry reinvestment at origin, I raised the prospect of “harmonized investment” — complementary, non-overlapping investments in the coffeelands by diverse actors on the coffee chain. Recent events have inspired me to revisit the idea.
Social Return on Investment, or SROI, is a holistic approach to measuring return on investment that goes beyond financial returns to consider also an investment’s social, economic and environmental impacts. The farmers of the 5 de junio cooperative in Nicaragua, in partnership with the Fabretto Foundation, a local NGO dedicated to promoting food security, seem […]
Earlier this year, competitiveness guru Michael Porter advanced a big idea in Harvard Business Review that I wrote about here because it was so relevant to discussions on this blog of new approaches to sustainability in coffee. In the article (titled “The Big Idea”), Porter and co-author Mark Kramer articulated the concept of Creating Shared […]
I have been suggesting here for the past few years that what is good for smallholder farm families can also be good for business. I don’t think I managed to persuade many people. Now competitiveness guru Michael Porter has succeeded where I have struggled in making a compelling case for investment that goes beyond the traditional goal of generating financial returns.
Tomorrow, the CRS Coffeelands Blog turns 1. We won’t be able to publish the standard one-year-old birthday party picture of a wide-eyed baby with a face — and hands and hair and clothes — covered in icing and cake crumbs, but I did want to do something to observe the happy occasion.
I was pleasantly surprised on Monday when I received — along with every other member of the SCAA, I presume — a link to the SCAA’s Philanthropic Activity Survey. It is encouraging that the industry is beginning a broader dialogue within its membership about spending at origin, and seeking more information about on-the-ground partnerships in the coffeelands that work.
When farmer organizations are able to include a roaster’s social investment agenda as one criterion among many in their commercial decision-making, we may be making progress toward greater sustainability in the coffee trade.
Food Security Solutions revolved around hands-on workshops designed to reduce hunger in the coffeelands. It had little coffee-specific content and was not designed to conduct coffee-related business. But if the experience of one CRS partner organization is any indication, this kind of non-coffee activity can have a big influence on the
Fresh Cup magazine has published a brief news story in its July issue on Food Security Solutions — the four-day workshop convened by Sustainable Harvest in Nicaragua in June. We are grateful to Fresh Cup for recognizing the importance of the first-ever multistakeholder gathering devoted exclusively to the issue of hunger.
The Food Security Solutions event has ended, but it is my hope and expectation that its impacts will make themselves felt in coffee communities throughout the Americas for years to come.