Tag Archives: Guatemala

362. Coffee rust and farmworkers

Our work in the coffeelands over the past 10 years has focused on small-scale family farmers, but we recognize that the seasonal laborers who pick coffee, often migrants, are arguably the most vulnerable actors in the coffee chain.  And there are a lot of them.  According to PROMECAFE data, more than 1.7 million people work […]

360. Coffee rust: It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine

With apologies to my doppelganger Michael Stipe for the title of this post, I cannot get this R.E.M. lyric out of my head after huddling in El Salvador for a week with colleagues from Central America to plan a response to the coffee rust epidemic. During the final day of the First International Coffee Rust […]

359. Coffee rust: Your tax dollars at work

Three years ago during the 2010 SCAA Expo, I gave this presentation on hunger in the coffeelands.  At that time, the issue did not have the kind of traction in the industry it does now.  Many people in the audience were still struggling to reconcile the extraordinary success of “sustainable coffees” in the marketplace with […]

358. Diversify, diversify, diversify.

The coffee leaf rust crisis in Central America has gotten people talking about diversification.  At the First International Coffee Rust Summit in Guatemala last month, participants advocated passionately (and persuasively) for diversification of coffee genetics and coffee farms.  There is a third type of diversification that wasn’t discussed in depth but remains critical to the […]

357. Help wanted in Central America: Lead the response to coffee rust

At the conclusions of the First International Coffee Rust Summit in Guatemala last month, the noted coffee agronomist Peter Baker confided to me that he did not think the event answered the most important question: “The Beyoncé Question.” I was confused. He elaborated: “It’s a line from one of her songs: ‘Who run this mother?’” […]

356. Coffee rust: An inconvenient truth

The application of climate science to coffee has generated an inconvenient truth: the map of the coffeelands in Mesoamerica will be redrawn over the next 40 years, and by 2050 the specialty coffee map will likely be much smaller than it is today.  Against the backdrop of the current coffee rust epidemic in Central America, […]

355. What they didn’t say at the Coffee Rust Summit

The program at the First International Coffee Rust Summit that recently concluded in Guatemala was filled with experts who addressed many different aspects of the current coffee rust emergency: the epidemiology of coffee rust, origins of this year’s outbreak, methods for controlling it, the social and economic implications for farmers and their communities, strategies for […]

354. Coffee rust: What’s below the surface?

During the opening session of last week’s Coffee Rust Summit in Guatemala, the director of Central America’s coffee institute suggested that coffee rust is a symptom of underlying problems in the region’s coffee sector.  More specifically, he noted that the coffeelands in Central America are filled with aging plantations that are poorly managed.  What he […]

352. Overheard at the Coffee Rust Summit

The first day of the First International Coffee Rust Summit is in the books.  My plans to Tweet from the event were foiled by connectivity problems.  Will try again on day two.  Meantime, here are some of the quotes and notes that stood out for me from the first full day of proceedings.