Sips

by JulieCraves on March 16, 2011

We have just returned from a 10-day trip to Nicaragua, where we did insect and bird surveys, and bird banding, at two great coffee farms, Finca El Jaguar in Jinotega, and  Finca Esperanza Verde in San Ramon. I’ll be posting about that soon. Meanwhile, some coffee news from when I was away.

  • FLO (Fairtrade International, the standards-setting organization) has responded to skyrocketing market prices for coffee with adjustments to Fair Trade pricing. As of April 1, 2011, the Fair Trade minimum price will increase by $0.15, to $1.40 per pound for washed Arabica and to $1.35 for Arabica naturals. The organic premium will increase from $0.20 to $0.30 per pound. The community development premium goes from $0.10 to $0.20 per pound, and $0.05 of that must be invested in quality improvement programs at the farm and/or cooperative level.
  • A great new website on sustainable agriculture has just rolled out, with a focus on India’s coffee and tea plantations: Ecoagriculture. I especially like the visualization of the Rainforest Alliance/Sustainable Agriculture Network’s certification principals.
  • The mainstream media is printing more and more about the effect of climate change on coffee growing. Here are two recent examples, from the Miami Herald (Costa Rica) and the New York Times (Colombia). Note both discuss the introduction of heat-tolerant and disease-resistant varieties (which may not be as high quality as heirloom types).
  • What does all this mean? Debating the fate of coffee.
  • Mermaid in a K-Cup: Starbucks and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters strike a deal.
Revised on December 21, 2018

Posted in Coffee news and miscellany

Coffee Gourmet March 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm

In your opinion, what do you think this will mean for the fate of coffee? I feel that Fair Trade and Organic coffee practices do set the standard, especially in light of the “green revolution” that is happening across the world. However, how do you manage and come up with solutions to problems that are already present, such as global warming and increases in destructive forces (the insects destroying Kona plantations, as well as Mother Nature’s show of force in Japan come to mind)? I guess the ultimate questions remain: Where do we start and How do we help?

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