Since I first attended the SCAA Symposium back in 2011 in Houston, I look forward to it every year with great anticipation–a welcome opportunity to step back from all the busyness of the daily routine to reflect and think and engage on the big issues in coffee. Yesterday the SCAA announced the speakers for this […]
SCAA’s 2014 Expo opens in a little more than a month, which means it’s time for the annual CRS Coffeelands Blog SCAA preview. After a careful review of the lecture program, I wonder whether this year’s Expo may the best ever for folks like me coming in from the coffeelands.
When I published this list of New Year’s resolutions earlier this month, there was one I forgot: create a cupping form for farmers.
Two weeks ago, I suggested that the coffee business is broken and that we need to take extraordinary measures to fix it: create alternative pricing mechanisms, build a permanent institution to foster cross-sector collaboration and send explorers to the frontiers of coffee to search for new insights. We have our work cut out for us, […]
CRS began working in coffee just over 10 years ago in response to a crisis. Today the coffee sector finds itself coping with another crisis. As I prepare for four days of meetings here in Guatemala to plan a coordinated response to the coffee rust epidemic in Central America, I try to remember that challenges […]
A noted coffee breeder at the French research institute CIRAD has suggested that the coffee leaf rust emergency in Central America is the result of a “perfect storm.” Is there a silver lining anywhere in those storm clouds?
During this year’s SCAA Symposium and Expo, and the inevitable slate of follow-up calls the week after, the issue of size kept coming up in my conversations. There was the roaster that bemoaned how small it was, wishing it could do more to meet the demands of its partners. There was the roaster that felt […]
In keeping with an annual tradition started back in 2009, today I publish my third annual preview of “don’t miss” SCAA presentations. This year, I divide my picks into two “streams of enlightenment” — “downstream” presentations that push knowledge of origin toward the marketplace, and “upstream” presentations that bring market intelligence to farmers and agencies […]
Over the past week or so, I have stumbled onto the websites of two different roasters who source coffee from a cooperative we support in Central America. Both are well-regarded Direct Trade roasters. Both have language on their websites that could be construed to suggest that they source all their coffees directly. One of them […]
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 […]