What have we learned about Price Risk Management from this interview series? We’ve had five very different discussions along the way – perspectives from the point of view of the cooperatives, from the exporters, from estates and from a leading broker of options and futures contracts. It was my hope that by getting diverse opinions […]
In a few of my recent posts, I have juxtaposed the amount of investment that is directed to the retail end of the supply chain (for example, $70 million for Blue Bottle, $9 million for a “bulletproof” coffee retail chain, etc.) versus the amount that is directed to the most vulnerable end of the supply […]
I’m going to be honest with all of you. I don’t have a lot of material to work with on this topic. I’ve been talking to a lot of people about this and looking all around Central America for examples of private investment in coffee farms. We all know about the pioneering work of Root […]
The Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative’s (GCQRI) Research Planning committee met in Nicaragua back in April to sketch out a preliminary five-year strategic research plan. The meeting produced two research agendas — one for coffee supply and another for coffee quality. On the supply side, there are two places where GCQRI and the international development […]
Images from our pulp natural pilot in Nicaragua — this is what innovation looks like in the community of Las Sabanas.
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.”
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.
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.