In the last weeks, I’ve been wandering between two worlds, trying to bring sense and structure into what I’ve seen and what I am reading. We are currently working on collecting field data from coffee farmers in Honduras, and I was lucky enough to visit several regions of the country while adapting our questionnaire and data … Continue reading Dispatches from the Field: Honduras
The coffee supply chain is famously shaped like an hourglass (or, if you will, a drip coffee machine): the broad demand at the top is connected to the millions of small producers at the bottom by a handful of powerful roasters. In 2013, the ten largest roasters controlled more than 40% of total world coffee … Continue reading Too Strong Coffee? Concentration at the Top and Anti-Trust Concerns
Who has the hardest job in the coffee value chain? Is it the farmer, who has to create just the right growing conditions for each single coffee plant, countering unpredictable climate, droughts and deluges, pests and diseases and an uncertain economic future year after year? The processor, who has to balance the orders he gets from … Continue reading The Hardest Job Of All
Coffee is known to have some of the most volatile prices of any agricultural commodity. The crux of agricultural markets is this: There is always an imbalance of supply and demand. If supply is smaller than demand, prices soar. This animates more producers to plant the crop in the following year to reap high earnings. … Continue reading Hey Mon, What's Up with Jamaican Coffee?
This is supposed to be the beginning of the rainy season. Normally, this means sunny mornings and a few hours of rain in the afternoon (sometimes real deluges) in the afternoon. But normally doesn’t exist here anymore. “We have never had overcast mornings until a couple of years ago. Now I feel like I am … Continue reading Climate Change is Felt in Costa Rica! An Example from Coffee Producers.
One of my favorite things about writing this blog is that it enables me to have really interesting conversations with really interesting people. Case in point: when I visited Monteverde, I knew that this was where Kenneth Lander, the co-founder of one of the most interesting business models in the coffee world out there, had … Continue reading A Transcontinental Farmers' Market: Exclusive Interview with Kenneth Lander from THRIVE Farmers
Hello? Is anybody still out there? I have to give a heartfelt apology for my absence recently, but it came with much work, much travels, and much activity that have left me scrambling to tend to my little blog. However, I am back now, and hopefully for good! The content and intensity of this blog … Continue reading Things I've … Written!