The final data for the CRS Coffeelands Blog for 2011 are in. Google Analyticator tells me that the Fair Trade USA split from Fairtrade International was the year’s top storyline — related posts took the top five spots. Here are the 10 posts that were most frequently visited in 2011: 1. Paul Rice makes the […]
The Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative’s (GCQRI) Research Planning committee met in Nicaragua back in April to sketch out a preliminary five-year strategic research plan. The meeting produced two research agendas — one for coffee supply and another for coffee quality. On the supply side, there are two places where GCQRI and the international development […]
Good things continue to come from 5 de junio, a cooperative of determined farmers in the rugged mountains of Madriz in Nicaragua. Mostly, they are coming via Counter Culture Coffee, which is offering four different coffees from 5 de junio: a special-process single-origin espresso, a single-varietal microlot, an organic lot, and a Swiss Water decaf. […]
I have been suggesting here for the past few years that what is good for smallholder farm families can also be good for business. I don’t think I managed to persuade many people. Now competitiveness guru Michael Porter has succeeded where I have struggled in making a compelling case for investment that goes beyond the traditional goal of generating financial returns.
Images from our pulp natural pilot in Nicaragua — this is what innovation looks like in the community of Las Sabanas.
Lest someone think the subsidies we are providing to reduce farmer risk are the exclusive domain of development agencies and NGOs that spend other peoples’ money, I want to share some details today about a roaster that has taken a similar approach. Equal Exchange, the pioneering Fair Trade roaster, is paying a farmer organization in El Salvador to implement new post-harvest practices, without regard to cup quality.
The innovations that have potential to boost quality usually require up-front investment and involve some kind of risk. Unfortunately, most of that risk usally falls squarely on the shoulders of the people least able to bear it — smallholder farmers. We are supporting a pilot in Nicaragua that is heavy on quality-driven innovation and light on risk to farmers.