Last September, Fair Trade USA issued two controversial announcements: one about its decision to withdraw from Fairtrade International, the global Fair Trade Certifier formerly known as FLO, and another launching its Fair Trade for All initiative, which rewrites the rules of Fair Trade and opens the U.S. Fair Trade market to coffee estates. In the […]
The 2012 edition of the SCAA Expo proved that nice guys don’t always finish last — among the event’s big winners were some of the nicest guys in coffee.
Every year the SCAA’s “big event” plays host to countless “small events” — receptions, fundraisers, competitions, press releases, big announcements, etc. One of the “small events” I am looking forward to most eagerly this year is the release of “Brewing Change,” a new book about Green Mountain’s Director of Coffee Community Outreach and Social Advocacy […]
In keeping with an annual tradition started back in 2009, today I publish my third annual preview of “don’t miss” SCAA presentations. This year, I divide my picks into two “streams of enlightenment” — “downstream” presentations that push knowledge of origin toward the marketplace, and “upstream” presentations that bring market intelligence to farmers and agencies […]
Our friends from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters have published a tribute to women leaders in Guatemala today on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, including reflections from a recent visit to San Miguel de Pochuta, where CRS and GMCR have teamed up to help women save as part of a community-managed savings and loan […]
Recent discussions here on the topic of assessing impact at origin have mapped into broader currents of conversation within the specialty coffee industry and society at large about how increasing data flows affect our day-to-day decision-making. Or don’t.
Last night, a grad student from the pioneering agroecology department at UC Santa Cruz turned me on to some recently published infographics on the Fair Trade system. (Thanks, Nick.) I am publishing a link to the graphs here because they are a pleasure to behold. And they also help, at a time of great upheaval […]
The Las Cruces cooperative was established in 1980 as part of El Salvador’s land reforms. For more than 30 years, the hard-working men and women of Las Cruces produced high-quality Borbon and Pacas varietals from one of the most privileged coffee landscapes in El Salvador, nestled on the northern slope of the Ilametepec Volcano among […]
Today, the CAFE Livelihoods project that I have been working on in one capacity or another since late 2007 draws to a close. As we prepare the final project report in the coming weeks, I will share some of the more notable project outcomes here. Meantime, I want to thank everyone who contributed to the […]
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 […]