Tag Archives: Intelligentsia

378. New Year’s resolutions

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.

374. Five survival strategies for smallholders

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, […]

367. The economic impacts of microlots

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 […]

366. Coffee leaders visit Colombia’s borderlands

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 […]

75. Photo essay – What I did this summer

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.

48. Perspectives on Direct Trade

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.