“Ending Hunger in the Coffeelands”

I just read the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s white paper: “A Blue Print to End Hunger in the Coffeelands” created by my colleagues at the SCAA Sustainability Council.  This is an educational piece that I hope every coffee professional and aficionado reads. As described in the report, studies in Latin America show that 2 …

“we need to educate the coffee industry”

Last week in Brazil, during a workshop we organized to identify improvements on the Fair Trade standards and processes, coffee farmers and workers from three countries discussed how we could be more effective in educating the coffee industry and consumers about the challenges and opportunities that farmworkers in coffee face every day. To learn more …

from independent farmers to farmer organizations

Farmer aggregation through effective and efficient farmer organizations could be one of the biggest development opportunities we have in coffee.  In previous posts, I and others have discussed the benefits of independent farmers getting organized : more access to credit and risk management tools, access to cheaper inputs, access to external assistance, stronger political presence, better access …

bringing farmers’ voice to improve our work

“I have participated in other workshops where people have ‘explained to me’ a set of standards.  This is the first time I am in a workshop to discuss the standards, and negotiate potential changes.  One thing is that somebody from outside, from an office somewhere writes a standard.  A very different thing is to improve …

buying “a share” for a better future

Leonardo Garcia is a farm worker at a coffee estate called “La Revancha” (The Revenge, in English), in Nicaragua.  This farm is part of our pilot program, which was developed to help the coffee industry better understand if and how Fair Trade can help improve the lives of millions of farm workers who work the coffee …

Working for quality of coffee and quality of life

Eliover Garcia, a foreman at Hacienda Venecia in Colombia, has been working in the coffee fields since he was 8 years old. His humble origins make Eliover fully appreciate everything in life. “Working on the coffee fields has allowed me to put food on our table and satisfy my family’s basic need, for which I’m …

an encouraging discussion on farmer aggregation

Last month I attended the International Coffee Organization’s (ICO) 3rd Coffee Finance Forum in Brazil during ICO’s 50th anniversary meeting.  ICO meetings are open to country delegates, observers and guests from 70 countries, both producing and consuming countries.    The objective of the 3rd Coffee Finance Forum was to identify best practices and disseminate information to …