Comments Off on Thoughts on the UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Merger
Over the past 36 months, the coffee industry has seen a wave of consolidations roll through the retail/manufacturing sector and those of us on the sidelines have been trying to figure out what it all means (see Sara Morrocchi’s great talk at Re:co Dublin last year). While some argued that consolidation was going to be […]
Comments Off on Research analysis: coffee certification and specialization in the Borderlands
Yesterday I summarized the key findings of a study in the current issue of Food Policy that is based on data from our Borderlands project in Colombia. Today, I discuss the content and implications of that article with its lead author, Wytse Vellema, a Ph.D. candidate at Ghent University in Belgium. The highlights of my […]
Comments Off on New research from the Borderlands
Our Borderlands Coffee Project in Nariño, Colombia, includes a research partnership with our friends at CIAT, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia. The collaboration allows us to use the project as a platform for field research, generate results-based evidence, and support decision-making at multiple levels: on the farm, in the policymaking process […]
Comments Off on 171. What that study means to me
Yesterday I provided a detailed summary of a recent study on the economic impacts of Fair Trade and organic certifications. Today, what it means to me in my work.
Comments Off on 170. What that study really said
The study on the economic impacts of Fair Trade and organic certifications that appeared in a recent issue of Ecological Economics has prompted some good, informed discussion, but also its share of distortion. After carefully reading (and re-reading) the study, here is my take on it as someone who works with both certified and non-certified […]
Comments Off on 169. What we missed in the furor over Fair Trade
Last week, articles in mainstream and industry media outlets on the economic impacts of Fair Trade on smallholder farmers caused something of a furor among coffee cognoscenti. The most serious discussion seemed to revolve around this study published in Ecological Economics. Unfortunately, in the squabble over certifications most people missed what was easily the most […]
Comments Off on 168. What do you (think you) know about sustainability?
At last month’s SCAA Symposium, we were invited to reexamine our assumptions about sustainability in coffee — what we think we know about the issue that may not be true. At the time, I thought that exercise produced some provocative responses. And then I read a recent study on the impacts of organic and Fair […]
Comments Off on 145. Counter Culture announces 5 de junio single-origin offering
Counter Culture Coffee on Friday announced it is now offering a single-origin, Direct Trade Certified coffee from 5 de junio, a cooperative participating in our CAFE Livelihoods project. While this may not be Earth-shaking news in the United States, it represents the culmination of years of hard work in a handful of coffee communities in […]
Comments Off on 143. Santa Adelaida – Sustainability pioneers
Santa Adelaida has been committed to principles of environmental sustainability since it began growing shade coffee in 1980. So when a local NGO suggested in 1992 that the organization’s members begin farming organically, it was a vision closely aligned with Santa Adelaida’s own. That year, its members began the transition to organic farming practices with […]
Comments Off on 117. What are certifications worth in this market?
What do current market prices mean for certifications?