Tonight is the last broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman. In homage to his 33 years on the air, I offer this coffee-focused mash-up of the venerable “Top 10 List” and the comparatively lesser-known sketch “Is this anything?” The first needs no introduction; the second featured oddball performances by guests, then banter between […]
Coffee may have something to learn from the mantra of the generals who ran the War Room during Bill Clinton’s 1994 campaign for president: it’s the economy market, stupid.
Tracy Ging, Director of Sustainability at S&D Coffee, has contributed an article to The Producer Issue of the SCAA Chronicle titled “Sustainable Coffee and Meaningful Economic Benefit.” It seems to be almost an editorial afterthought, appearing near the very end of the issue and amounting to barely a full page of text. Bu the author packs […]
Water seemed to be everywhere in the coffee news last week, and the biggest headlines were reserved for TOMS, which is expanding from shoes and fashion accessories into specialty coffee, and bringing its One-for-One approach with it: for each bag of coffee it sells, TOMS will deliver a week of water to a person in […]
SCAA’s 2014 Expo opens in a little more than a month, which means it’s time for the annual CRS Coffeelands Blog SCAA preview. After a careful review of the lecture program, I wonder whether this year’s Expo may the best ever for folks like me coming in from the coffeelands.
Last month the pioneering fincial services provider Root Capital published an issue brief showing that its investment in social and environmental due diligence has generated financial returns by helping it avoid bad loans and make good ones. It was so rich with insight that I felt compelled to publish three separate posts on the brief […]
This week I am writing about a Root Capital issue brief that describes how the pioneering social lender is using information on the social and environmental performance of its clients to improve its own financial performance. In the foreword, Root calls for the creation of a community of practice among financial institutions committed to marrying social and […]
Root Capital is the most important organization in the coffee trade that most coffee drinkers have never heard of. The commercial finance it extends to coffee cooperatives in the “missing middle” of credit markets makes the trade work for smallholders; its innovations in financial advisory services, internal credit funds, clean technology and income diversification are […]
The impacts of microlots on smallholder farmers has been a topic of discussion on this blog dating back to 2010. The research on the issue to date is largely inconclusive, and powerful critiques of the microlot model have been leveled by influential actors in specialty coffee who question the inclusiveness and impact of the Direct […]
Long before and quite apart from the coffee rust outbreak in Central America, I proposed a presentation for this year’s SCAA Expo on what we have been calling “the productivity gap” — the difference between what smallholder farmers CAN produce and what they actually DO produce. The productivity gap is big, and its effect on […]