I am writing this post from the coffeelands in El Salvador, where many of the cooperatives we accompany made the ill-advised decision to fix the prices in their coffee contracts for the 2010/11 cycle as early as last September. Contracts fixed then at $2-$2.25 a pound were cause for celebration — in some cases these […]
SCAA 2011 preview – the view from the coffeelands.
Last week I made the not-so-bold prediction that 2011 will be The Year of the GCQRI. Today I consider whether that is an entirely good thing.
What do current market prices mean for certifications?
Last week I reflected on the implications of current market prices: the good, the bad and the ugly. This week, more comment on the current state of the market, starting with one Fair Trade roaster’s take on what it is calling “The New Coffee Crisis.”
As we move into full harvest season here in Central America, prices are at record highs, putting pressure on cooperatives, importers and roasters. One importer friend offered this blunt assessment: “It is going to be ugly.”
Yesterday I suggested that Fair Trade has little to do with quality on the roasting and retail end of the coffee chain. On the sourcing end, however, I believe that there are elements of the Fair Trade model that help certain Fair Trade roasters get a leg up on the competition.
I suggested yesterday that Fair Trade coffee is on a roll. I think it is important to reflect further on the relationship between Fair Trade and quality, as much of what accounts for coffee quality has nothing at all to do with Fair Trade
The Colombia Cup of Excellence competition held earlier this month may have marked the coronation of Nariño as the source of the country’s finest coffee. Farmers from Nariño claimed the first six spots and eight of the top ten. Such dominance leaves little doubt that the center of Colombian coffee has shifted definitively to Nariño.
Last week, the Seattle Times published an article on Direct Trade that did not reflect particularly well on Fair Trade Certification. Then a bad moment for Fair Trade was made worse when Sprudge cherry-picked the worst lines of the article, which had more than its share of unfortunate content.