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 …

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 …

Working together will bring peace to my land

This post comes from my colleague Griselda Barraza.  As part of the work we are doing to include independent smallholder coffee farmers in Fair Trade, Griselda interviewed Fabian to learn more about his participation in the SCAA show back in April. Fabian Andres is 26 years old and he is already a leader in his …

Our Own Farmer Organization

This is a guest post by my colleague Paul Alvarez.  Paul has been supporting independent smallholder farmers in Peru to achieve Fair Trade certification.  He wrote this post after his latest visit to Peru. “Yes, other certifications are good, but we also want Fair Trade. Yes, we have other certifications but we like Fair Trade …

The Silent Majority: Independent Smallholder Coffee Farmers

Last month, during the Specialty Coffee Association of America conference in Boston, I had the privilege of organizing a panel about the need to include independent smallholder coffee farmers in the industry’s sustainability efforts.   These coffee farmers are smallholders who are not organized in a cooperative or other type of farmer organization.  The panel included: …

My first coffee show

This post comes from my colleague Griselda Barraza.  She just attended her first SCAA coffee show.     Preparing for the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) show was a lot of work. We spent several hours getting all the logistics ready for the group of farm workers and independent small farmers that we brought …

A first step towards farmer organizations

During my visit to Honduras, last month, I visited the Cruz Alta community in Santa Rosa de Copan. I visited Efigio at his farm where the other farmers in his Fair Trade group were already meeting. Efigio is a young independent smallholder that grows coffee just as his parents and his older brother do. He …