CRS has been working to support smallholder coffee farmers — both in the coffeelands and in the U.S. marketplace — for the better part of 10 years. For most of that time we have kept a low profile, working quietly to help farmers increase coffee productivity, quality and income at origin and expand the market […]
Last week, the Coffeelands Blog marked the third anniversary of its first post. It has been a good year for the blog. Unfortunately, that is due in part to the fact that it has been such a difficult year for Fair Trade.
I have been so busy preparing for and participating in Sustainable Harvest’s 10th annual Let’s Talk Coffee in Colombia last week that I am just getting caught up on some recent news in coffee. Here are some of the biggest stories in specialty coffee from the last month.
I have moved four times since I finished graduate school more than 10 years ago. Precious few of my textbooks have traveled with me through all those long-distance moves. One that has is a slender, dog-eared volume that advances in relatively few pages an exceptionally robust conceptual framework: Albert Hirschman’s Exit, Voice and Loyalty. Applying […]
The Fair Trade Certification system has been convulsed since Fair Trade USA broke ranks with Fairtrade International more than a year ago, introducing its ambitious Fair Trade for All initiative and changing the rules of the game. The substance of the decision rankled coops and Fair Trade pioneers. But what seemed to really unite opposition […]
As I reflect more on The Nation’s excellent article on the split in the Fair Trade movement, I am reminded of a product review by Ritual Coffee, the iconic San Francisco roaster, that included this passage: “Did we once tell you that the Hario Hand Mills were the best hand grinders available? Yes. Are we […]
Over the past few years, I have interacted both online and off with university students and faculty who have incorporated Coffeelands blog content into their studies of agroecology, journalism, sustainable trade, etc. Of particular interest to university readers has been the current split in the Fair Trade movement caused by Fair Trade USA’s Fair Trade […]
The Nation magazine, the venerable weekly that has been a progressive standard bearer since the Civil War, has weighed in on the state of the U.S. Fair Trade movement in its 10 September 2012 issue. In “The Brawl Over Fair Trade Coffee,” The Nation writer Scott Sherman reaches farther and wider than any other coverage […]
Empowerment is a popular term in the fields of international development and Fair Trade. It has been mentioned many times in the current debate over changes to the Fair Trade system — including several times on this blog — by people who are both for FT4All and against it: Ed Canty buys Fair Trade Certified […]
As readers of this blog will know, recently we decided to get involved in a Fair Trade for All pilot project in Colombia, in part because we want to understand and document the impacts of Fair Trade on independent smallholder farmers. As part of our effort to design a strong impact assessment, I have been […]