It’s that time of year again — the time we all make New Year’s resolutions that are destined to be broken. So here are three from the coffeelands: Generate more results-based evidence. Help the coffee sector navigate uncharted waters. Borrow a page from the microfinance playbook. Only we plan on keeping these.
Two weeks ago, I suggested that the coffee business is broken and that we need to take extraordinary measures to fix it: create alternative pricing mechanisms, build a permanent institution to foster cross-sector collaboration and send explorers to the frontiers of coffee to search for new insights. We have our work cut out for us, […]
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 […]
Nariño is a coffee-growing region on Colombia’s southern border with Ecuador that is renowned for the quality of its coffee but remains the source of relatively few coffees sourced directly by roasters paying premiums for coffees of extraordinary quality. The CRS Borderlands Coffee Project has enlisted the support of an Advisory Board that includes six […]
I have been spending a lot of time on the road lately. I am currently on a three-week tour of CRS coffee programming in Colombia, Ecuador and Nicaragua that so far has included two police roadchecks in Colombia, a stop by an anti-narcotics official while walking across the Colombia-Ecuador border, a fender bender in Managua, […]
Monday’s photo essay on my holiday coffee-drinking adventures featured only some of the great coffeehouses I visited during my holiday. Here is the complete list with some notes on each.
In the tradition of the back-to-school composition on the theme “What I did this summer,” here are some images from a few of the cafés that kept me plied with extraordinary coffees at each of the many stops on my whirlwind holiday.
The price paid to smallholder farmer organizations is often the primary point of comparison different trading models. Unfortunately, a lack of precision can make these comparisons miselading.
I am still trying to understand how Direct Trade works on the ground, and how we, as a development agency working to promote more sustainable and fair trading models, should advise smallholder farmers to approach it. As part of my own ongoing education in Direct Trade, I have been seeking out different perspectives on Direct Trade and finding plenty of good resources.
Sure, I know there is good coffee in the coffeelands. But mind-bending coffees are hard to come by. There are a few stars in the coffeelands firmament that I know of that burn brighter than most: Cafe Palo Alto in Cali and Ben’s Coffee in San Salvador.