How Can We Make Coffee Better: Letter From the Editor

The specialty coffee supply chain is intricate and complex, consisting of many different and connected parts. Along this chain, coffee is vulnerable to threats that impact not only quality, but also its very existence. Every day, coffee fights for survival, confronted with erratic weather patterns, disease and pests, drought, as well as labor shortages and …

The CO2 Coffee Project: A New Model for Sustainability

By Kassy Holmes, The Rainforest Alliance In the coastal coffee-growing region of Oaxaca, Mexico, indigenous communities, conservation organizations, coffee traders, and cooperatives have come together to launch an innovative model for combating deforestation, promoting climate-smart coffee production, and fostering resilient livelihoods for farmers already facing the challenges of climate change. Oaxaca once exemplified Mexico’s diversity …

Why Learn About the Cost of Production?

By Chad Trewick, Reciprocafé, LLC The coffee industry—and not only the specialty sector, although we lead the charge—is gradually realizing the future threats to its raw material supply, green coffee. Rising cost of production eroding earning potential, increasing competition from alternative economic activities, and market price volatility are all weakening our value chain due to …

Sustaining an Industry: Value and Viability for Farmworkers in Coffee

By Ben Corey-Moran, Fair Trade USA Farmworkers are the backbone of coffee production.
These women, men—and yes, sometimes children—are the labor force that drives coffee production, yet they toil behind the curtain of our industry’s awareness. In the well-worn hands of an estimated four million farmworkers rests the promise of great coffee, the hope for industry …

People of Specialty Coffee: An Interview With Caleb Nicholes

TJ Semanchin (left) & Caleb Nicholes (right), co-owners of Kickapoo Coffee Roasters What makes Kickapoo Coffee Roasters special? Our business is situated in the small progressive town of Viroqua (pop. 4500) in rural Wisconsin. Our county is home to more quality-focused organic farms per capita than anywhere else in the country. Living here has certainly …