Today I rejoined the family gardens workshop during the fourth and final day of Food Security Solutions — a hands-on training opportunity during which a small group of coffee farmers and folks like me turned a flat pitch of ground into two vegetable gardens.
Yesterday — day three of Food Security Solutions — we began the day by dividing into groups again to begin another two-day workshop. In the evening, we ended the day by coming together to discuss an issue that affects us all and will shape the food security lanscape for generations to come — climate change. In between, I found time to visit with farmers and staff of CECOCAFEN and spend some time with the very talented photographer Clay Enos.
Yesterday the coffee and mushroom workshop at Food Security Solutions moved from talk to action.
In a few minutes I will leave the swelter of Managua and drive to the cool shade of the coffeelands overlooking Matagalpa for a four-day workshop where dozens of smallholder coffee farmers from across Mexico and Central America will gather to talk about something other than coffee: how to reduce hunger in the coffeelands.
The price paid to smallholder farmer organizations is often the primary point of comparison different trading models. Unfortunately, a lack of precision can make these comparisons miselading.
The Fair Trade v. Direct Trade debate — to the extent that people are still having it — is fueled by caricatures of each approach that may reflect some grain of truth but ultimately misrepresent the realities of both.
I am still trying to understand how Direct Trade works on the ground, and how we, as a development agency working to promote more sustainable and fair trading models, should advise smallholder farmers to approach it. As part of my own ongoing education in Direct Trade, I have been seeking out different perspectives on Direct Trade and finding plenty of good resources.
I read the bestselling book Getting to Yes for a course in negotation I took during graduate school. I don’t recall the book’s nuances, but some of its core principles have stuck with me, like moving beyond a party’s position to explore its underlying interests, and inventing new fields of engagement in which win-win solutions […]
Over the past week and a half, I have been posting on the issue of how coffee companies are investing at origin. Today: what they are investing in, and how that may be changing.
The most important divide in the discussion around coffee and development is the gap between coffee chain issues (productivity, quality, etc.) and issues that arise from beyond the coffee chain. The issue that bridges the gap? The price companies pay for their coffee.