It’s Spring again… Green is starting to appear in the northern latitudes, the NBA playoffs are just around the corner, you realize that you haven’t filed your taxes yet, and the annual Specialty Coffee Association’s Expo is coming up. This year will be my fifth consecutive year attending – I’m starting to feel like a “local,” […]
There seem to be very few conversations in coffee these days that are not influenced in some way by the coffee rust crisis in Central America. And there are other long-standing conversations that seem to be assuming renewed importance in the current context. One of these is the return on the investments that farmers make […]
Yesterday I provided a detailed summary of a recent study on the economic impacts of Fair Trade and organic certifications. Today, what it means to me in my work.
The study on the economic impacts of Fair Trade and organic certifications that appeared in a recent issue of Ecological Economics has prompted some good, informed discussion, but also its share of distortion. After carefully reading (and re-reading) the study, here is my take on it as someone who works with both certified and non-certified […]
Last week, articles in mainstream and industry media outlets on the economic impacts of Fair Trade on smallholder farmers caused something of a furor among coffee cognoscenti. The most serious discussion seemed to revolve around this study published in Ecological Economics. Unfortunately, in the squabble over certifications most people missed what was easily the most […]
At last month’s SCAA Symposium, we were invited to reexamine our assumptions about sustainability in coffee — what we think we know about the issue that may not be true. At the time, I thought that exercise produced some provocative responses. And then I read a recent study on the impacts of organic and Fair […]
What do current market prices mean for certifications?