Intelligentsia wasn’t just a charter member of the Advisory Council for our Borderlands project in Nariño, Colombia–conversations with coffee buyer Geoff Watts dating back to 2010 helped shape the project’s design and planted the seeds for the Colombia Sensory Trial, our partnership with leaders in specialty coffee, research and philanthropy on a rigorous comparative analysis […]
Since early this morning, members of the 33 families who grew the coffee in Counter Culture’s La Florida single-variety Caturra lot have been gathered in Pasto, the capital of Nariño. They are waiting until 3:12 pm local time, when their coffee takes center stage in the able hands of Anna Utevsky. Meet some of them […]
In Nariño, Colombia, we have been working for more than three years to build relationships between the 1,600 smallholder growers who participate in our Borderlands Coffee Project and six allies in the marketplace who are part of the project’s Advisory Council. This year, four of those companies purchased 41 separate lots from 324 different growers, […]
Last November, the pioneering Colombian exporter Virmax published these photos from Oswaldo Acevedo’s Hacienda El Roble and wondered whether there is a strand of yellow Maragogype out there despite the science that says Maragogype produces only red cherry. Does yellow maragogype exist? Or is this another variety? @HdaElRoble pic.twitter.com/U1xblfMX2v — Virmax Café (@virmaxcafe) November 6, […]
In my travels in the coffeelands, I hear a familiar concern echoed by coffee growers: relevo generacional. All over the Americas, aging farmers are watching their children leave the farm for the city to pursue higher education and employment opportunities. With the coffee leaf rust epidemic, volatile market prices, a changing climate, low productivity, limited […]
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.
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 […]
Focusing on the little things during three days in the field in Nariño.
The Castillo cultivar has been the subject of considerable discussion and no small amount of controversy in the marketplace in recent years. At the risk of oversimplification, the debate has been framed by two positions: that of representatives of Colombia’s Federación Nacional de Cafeteros, who insist that Castillo will thrive in the specialty market because […]
This week, CRS is issuing a series of observations based on our experience in Colombia with the first Fair Trade Certification pilot with independent smallholder farmers, and recommendations for the future of Fair Trade for All. From our perspective, the pilot has been the source of some encouragement as an approach to smallholder organization where […]