Tag Archives: quality

113. More on quality, innovation and risk

Lest someone think the subsidies we are providing to reduce farmer risk are the exclusive domain of development agencies and NGOs that spend other peoples’ money, I want to share some details today about a roaster that has taken a similar approach. Equal Exchange, the pioneering Fair Trade roaster, is paying a farmer organization in El Salvador to implement new post-harvest practices, without regard to cup quality.

112. Quality, innovation and risk

The innovations that have potential to boost quality usually require up-front investment and involve some kind of risk. Unfortunately, most of that risk usally falls squarely on the shoulders of the people least able to bear it — smallholder farmers. We are supporting a pilot in Nicaragua that is heavy on quality-driven innovation and light on risk to farmers.

110. Coffee quality: Fair Trade’s competitive advantage

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.

109. Coffee quality: What’s Fair Trade got to do with it?

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

103. GCQRI – Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative

Several dozen of the most influential and quality-obsessed people in the coffee industry are gathered this week in College Station, Texas, for the Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative (GCQRI) Symposium — the first step in launching a massive, five-year collaborative research project involving industry, bilateral donor agencies and research institutes and designed to increase the availability of high-quality coffee. Here are some links to very good real-time coverage of the event from people who are participating.

101. More on where quality comes from

I recently shared the perspectives of a pair of Q-grader cuppers on where quality comes from — perspectives that left out most of what coffee farmers do. Their perspectives are informed, but are not the only ones on an issue around which there is no real consensus. Today, a different take on the issue that attributes more of the quality of your coffee to how farmers grow it.