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 …

Sustainable coffee isn’t cheap – the cost for farmworkers

Coffee pickers, migrant workers, and farmworkers, in general, may be the most vulnerable groups involved in coffee production; however, they have traditionally not been included in the coffee industry’s sustainability efforts. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor discovered widespread labor violations in coffee farms in Hawaii.  Violations included “failures to pay workers minimum wage …

60 years in coffee

“60 years. I have been working in coffee my whole life,” responded Dona Concepção when I asked her how long she had worked in coffee.  She welcomed us on her coffee farm in Lajinha, Minas Gerais, Brazil, with brewed coffee, fruit and pastries she and her children made for us. When we began walking through …

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 …