Top 5 moments in 2012 (2)

…continuing my post on my top moments of 2012, here are the remaining two moments that were special because of the learnings and inspiration they brought to me and my work. 2. Learning from (and with) my labor friends Early this year I went to Brazil and Ecuador with Erik and Kevin: two champions of …

Top 5 experiences of 2012

We are approaching the end of the year and this has been a challenging but very rewarding year professionally.   I have been working to find alternatives to improve the situation of farm workers and independent smallholder farmers in coffee.  That means that I have had to travel to many places to build partnerships and work …

extraordinary people behind extraordinary coffees

“There are no specialty coffees, only extraordinary people who produce excellent coffees.”   –  Marino Yanapa, CECOVASA I met Raúl Mamani six years ago when he came to the U.S. to promote his cooperative’s coffee and to speak to consumers and industry about Fair Trade. It took him three days to travel to Lima from …

working with independent small farmers in Colombia

“It is excellent. We learn from them, they learn from us, and we solve our questions together” Nancy Garces, a leader of the Las Aradas community and part of the Fair Trade small-scale farmer committee in Nariño, on her experience working with the other communities Close to the Doña Juana volcano in Nariño, Colombia, 100 small-scale …

seeing the future in the past

Fabian, a 25 year-old small-scale farmer from southern Colombia, began a two day journey from his village to Portland, OR in the U.S. to attend the Specialty Coffee Association of America conference this past April.  He spent five days in the largest coffee conference in the world meeting with coffee buyers, NGO’s and other farmers.  At our …