Collective Action: An Opportunity For the Entire Coffee Industry

Miguel Zamora at the National Coffee Association Convention. ©2019 Decisive Moment

The power of pre-competitive collaboration to address labor issues at origin.

By Miguel Zamora, Director, Core Markets at Rainforest Alliance & member of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge Advisory Council

View the original post on LinkedIn


The coffee industry depends on the work of millions of workers who arrive to coffee farms all over the world during the harvest to pick coffee. Labor represents the largest portion of cost of production for coffee farming all over the world.

Although they represent millions and are key to the production of coffee, as an industry, we do not understand their situation, challenges, and opportunities enough.

That’s not only wrong, but a big risk for coffee.

Continue reading

La Roya’s Return: How Can Coffee Farmers Survive?

The following is a guest post from Heifer International. See the NCA First Pull guest post guidelines

By Marco Machado, Heifer International

DSC1419.jpg

Photo: Stephanie Parker, via Medium

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Orangish yellow blotches are starting to appear on the leaves of coffee plants in eastern Honduras, according to reports from the field. It’s a sign that the dreaded coffee rust fungus, or la roya, is making a comeback and endangering the crop that’s vital to the economies of Latin America.

Five years ago, an outbreak decimated coffee in the region, triggering a state of emergency and famine watches.

How bad will it be this season? It’s too early to tell. All we know is that the plant-choking fungus – first discovered in East Africa nearly 150 years ago – poses a serious threat to coffee’s future in the Americas.

As we search for a way to defeat the fungus, the coffee industry can help smallholder farmers build resiliency and deal with shocks from la roya – as well as from climate change, market swings, and other volatility common with cash crops.

Continue reading