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Position Open: Coffeehouse Manager – Americus

Written by nema on January 14, 2017 in BLOG, Cafe Campesino, Call to Action, POSTS FROM THE FIELD

Cafe Campesino CoffeehouseWe are looking for a great leader for our Americus coffeehouse team.
Learn more about this open position below. Qualified candidates should
apply by January 23, 2017.

 

Position: Coffeehouse Manager
Type: Full-Time
Compensation: Salary + Benefits
Job Location: Americus, Georgia


Job Description
Cafe Campesino is a group of coffee-loving professionals who believe they can make small steps to improve the world through ethical, meaningful trade relationships. A fair trade, organic coffee company that was founded in 1998 in Americus, Georgia, Cafe Campesino only sources coffee from farmer-owned cooperatives. This ensures small-scale farmers, who are often marginalized in their own countries, have a major role in the international sales and export of their coffees. These long-term, direct trade relationships- some of which have lasted more than 10 years – allow Cafe Campesino to partner with coffee farmers, connect consumers to producers, and encourage conscious consumption around the world.


The retail coffee house experience plays an integral part in Cafe Campesino’s mission. It is the “last-stop” in the supply chain for these intentionally sourced coffees, and it is often the “first-stop” for consumers to understand and engage in a fair-trade supply chain. Coffee drinks must be delicious, and the customer’s experience must be exceptional.


Inspiring and guiding staff, while cultivating and protecting a safe, engaging atmosphere for all customers will be tantamount to this position.


A successful Coffeehouse Manager will:

  • Maintain, inspire and guide a dynamic staff of baristas, including:

    • Offering feedback & constructive criticism where necessary
    • Identifying educational & career-building opportunities for staff
    • Developing shift schedules that create win-wins for employees and the cafe
    • Ensuring staff prepares quality espresso and coffee beverages
    • Ensuring equipment and tools are functioning, up-to-date, and easily accessible for staff
  • Offer an Exceptional Experience for Customers, including

    • Ensuring each customer is greeted with a smile and has his/her needs met
    • Serving well prepared, high quality beverages and food
    • Encouraging personalized experiences and conversations wherever appropriate
    • Ensuring the facility is safe, clean and inviting, meeting food and health safety codes
    • Addressing customer service issues in a prompt manner with kindness and sincerity
    • Answering coffee-related questions including sourcing or flavor profile questions
    • Facilitating special events on-site that help consumers better connect with CC’s mission
    • Keeping Menu Items & Prices in-line with local market capacity
    • Ensuring overall shop atmosphere reflects company mission and values
  • Manage Cafe Expenses and Sales for Profit, including

    • Reviewing menu prices for appropriate margins
    • Maintaining costs of goods at target percent of gross sales
    • Managing labor hours for anticipated volume
    • Positioning retail items for impulse purchases
    • Managing food, coffee, allied product and fair trade retail purchases
    • Identifying new potential customers and ways to market to them
  • Manage Community Relationships, including

    • Responding to donation requests
    • Overseeing First Friday events with extended hours
    • Making space hospitable and welcoming to locally based community groups
    • Positioning the coffee house as a destination for newcomers to Americus
    • Staying abreast of local events (City, County or State) that could boost sales
  • Collaborate with Cafe Campesino Roastery, including

    • Making space available to wholesale sales team & potential wholesale customers
    • Buying and selling allied products and key coffees promoted by the roastery
    • Working with Finance Department to report monthly expenses
    • Working with Marketing Department to promote cafe and (when appropriate) Americus
    • Identifying and communicating wholesale leads to the roastery


Successful Applicants for this position will:

  • Have 1-2 years management experience
  • Have a passion for coffee and preferably experience working in a coffee shop
  • Be genuinely energized about having a role in a sustainable, intentional supply chain
  • Be naturally empathetic and understanding of others
  • Be Capable of performing disciplinary actions
  • Be Able to see both big picture as well as day-to-day details
  • Be Capable of delegating responsibilities and continually checking-in on progress
  • Have a strong work-ethic
  • Have a reservoir of internal professionalism, optimism and kindness from which he/she can draw
  • Be humble enough to do dishes, mop floors and jump-in to help staff wherever necessary
  • Be physically capable of walking and standing for 5+ hours and carrying at least 20 pounds
  • Be Capable of identifying his or her own areas for personal growth and professional development


Applicants are required to submit a Resume, Cover Letter and three references.


Application Deadline: Monday, January 23, 2017


Submit Applications to: coffeehouse@cafecampesino.com with “Manager Application” in subject heading.

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Birding and Coffee: A Travelogue(ito) from February 2014

Written by nema on March 21, 2014 in POSTS FROM THE FIELD
A coffee seedling with Roya.   Photo taken in Chel, Guatemala, February 2014, by Phil Hardy.

A coffee seedling with Roya. Photo taken in Chel, Guatemala, February 2014, by Phil Hardy.

Cafe Campesino launched its first Birding and Coffee Tour of Guatemala in February 2014, visiting three regions in nine days, including Chajul (and its environs) in the Guatemalan Highlands where we source coffee.  We logged more than 100 species of birds on the trip, visiting Antigua, near Guatemala City,  Chajul, in the Quiche department, and St. Lucas Toliman, located on the southwestern shores of Lake Atitlan.  We also got first-hand accounts of the 2013-2014 harvest from coffee farmer members of the Asociacion Chajulense who are desperately battling the spread of Roya.

No Hay Cafe

A crippling orange, powdery fungus that withers the leaves of the trees it infects, Roya, also known as coffee rust, keeps leaves from performing photosynthesis- that vital plant function that converts sunlight into energy  (learn more about Roya here).  Without its necessary fuel, coffee trees are unable to produce cherries, and harvests decline.  The Chajul cooperative alone expects a 50 percent drop from its 2012-2013 harvest season where it produced some 29 containers (or 1.1 million pounds) of green coffee.  This is especially devastating when many of Chajul’s 1,406 members rely on sales of green coffee as a primary source of income to buy food.

Helping its farmer members combat Roya is the Chajul cooperative’s greatest challenge right now.   On one of the three days we were in Chajul,  the cooperative distributed to its members organic fungicide mixes and seeds from trees that had  successfully resisted Roya in an effort to help members clean out the fungus from existing crops and plant stronger strains of trees to start anew.  But new trees take up to 3 years to produce.  And many farmers live in villages where not all of their neighbors are members of the Chajul cooperative and

Chajul co-op leadership: Arcadio Daniel, Miguel Tzoy and Asociacion Chajulense's cupper at the Chajul co-op's warehouse & beneficio in Chajul, Guatemala, February, 2014.

Chajul co-op leadership: Arcadio Daniel, Miguel Tzoy and Asociacion Chajulense’s cupper at the co-op’s warehouse and beneficio in Chajul, Guatemala, February, 2014.

are not as committed to combating Roya as they are.

Many farmers throughout Guatemala, in fact, have abandoned their Roya-plagued coffee trees.  They have reasoned that administering multiple applications of fungicide, in addition to the regularly cleaning and maintaining their coffee trees, is not worth their time.   So, in many parts of Guatemala, Roya lives-on unchecked (and presumably spreads).  Government assistance to curb Roya is virtually nil for small-scale farmers, according to many of the people we talked to along the trip, who explained that much of the state-led Roya assistance efforts were tailored to large coffee farms that do not farm organically.

“No hay cafe” (There is no coffee), said farmers in Chel, a village about a 2-hour drive north of Chajul.  While there was some production in Chel, many of those farmers no doubt have fresh in their minds the 2011 coffee harvest when the co-op produced more than 48 containers  (or 1.8 million pounds) of green coffee during one of the highest market prices in history.  A high market price, combined with a high yield made 2011 a wonderful year for coffee farmers.  This year is dramatically different.

 

Chajul farmers receive ingredients for an organic fungicide and new seeds  to help fight Roya. February 2014.

Chajul farmers receive ingredients for an organic fungicide and new seeds to help fight Roya. February 2014.

In a region that still wears the scars of harrowing human rights violations (the legal office of the Chajul co-op has helped locate mass graves  in its region since the Peace Accords that ended a 36-year-long Civil War were signed in 1996), in a country that still struggles to bring war criminals to justice, it’s hard to understand how farmers can remain hopeful in the face of Roya.  “There’s nothing else to do,” one farmer told us, saying that remaining hopeful and working his coffee plants was all he could do.

Entities like Cooperative Coffees, who in January organized a best practice-sharing session among coffee farmers battling Roya, help bring, at the very least, solidarity and support to farmers like those in Chajul. Cooperative Coffees also initiated a Roya Relief Fund in the summer of 2013 that sends emergency monies to producer partners to help fund the costs of re-planting trees, purchasing and applying organic fertilizer, developing food security garden projects or other initiatives that may generate additional income for farmer families.

Textiles from Chajul Women’s Cooperative

wallets

Hand-woven wallets created by the Women’s Weaving Cooperative of Chajul.

In an effort to get more money into the Chajul area, Cafe Campesino is purchasing hand-woven textiles from a women’s cooperative that was born out of Asociacion Chajulense and still shares office space with the coffee exporting cooperative.  “Unidas por la Vida” (United for Life) is the motto of the Asociacion Chajulense de Mujeres (the Chajul Women’s Association), which is made up of about 50 indigenous Mayan Ixil women who weave using back-strap looms and foot-looms.  They make purses, cosmetic bags, wallets, I-pad cases, pillow covers and more, and Cafe Campesino will carry some of these products  beginning in the spring of 2014.

making a wallet in Chajul

A member of the the Chajul Women’s Cooperative is using a back-strap loom to create wallets that will soon be sold at Cafe Campesino.

The women’s cooperative provides artisans with designs as well as prepared thread with which to work.  Most women work from their homes, generating additional income while still tending to the needs of their children and families.  In addition to providing jobs for women in the Chajul area, the women’s co-op also administers a micro-credit fund from which it will loan 2,400 quetzales (or about $300) to an individual woman.  The loans are generally repaid within one year, can be used for whatever the loan recipient needs, and are monitored and administered at the local-level by small groups of women who make sure that the loan gets repaid.  Since starting the fund in 2007, the co-op has never had a woman default on her loan, and the number of loan recipients has increased from 19 in 2007 to 800 in 2013.

Look for freshly designed, newly woven (the women were working on our order while we were there in February) collection of textiles at Cafe Campesino soon!!!

Birds, Birds, more Birds

And if direct visits with coffee producers and artisans weren’t enough for our intrepid group of travelers, bus rides through cloud forests, chocolate tastings at Fernando’s Cafe in Antigua, sunsets on one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and sightings of more than 100 species of birds (some of which were very rare) were all on the agenda, too.  

 

The rare Northern Potoo seen in Guatemala.  When it sleeps, it looks like a tree limb.

The rare Northern Potoo seen in Guatemala through a telescope lens. A night hunter, it looks like a tree limb when it sleeps during the day.

Our birding outings were led by our old-friend and veteran Habitat for Humanity volunteer Clive Rainey (who not long ago traded-in an Americus, Ga.-based home for Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, home).  Clive took us to some beautiful, tranquil and amazing sites- lush with vegetation and active with bird-life.  Among the species of birds that we saw were the White-bellied Chachalaca, the Groove-billed Ani, the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, the Northern Potoo, the Black Swift, the Turquoise-browed Motmot (the national bird of El Salvador, btw…), the Yellow-Throated Vireo, the Yellow-naped Parrot, the Painted Bunting, the Yellow-billed Cacique, the Azure-crowned Hummingbird and SO MANY MORE!   Clive and a small contingent continued birding after the Cafe Campesino trip had ended, seeing ultimately, the Resplendent Quetzal.

And so, with our first Birding and Coffee trip to Guatemala under our belts, we are poised to return with a new group!   New for next year’s agenda?  An overnight in Guatemala City at the Quetzalroo Hostel, where our group will hopefully get Marcos’s famed walking tour of the city.  AND-  iced coffee served from hand-blown martini glasses at El Injerto coffee shop in Guatemala City.  Both were pre-trip highlights of this trip leader.

So.. JOIN US in our travels!  We’re going to Peru in July and Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala in the fall.   Look for another Birding and Coffee trip in December 2014 or early 2015.

Let us know if you want to go and email us your destination preference at travel@cafecampesino.com.

 

 

Clive Rainey, cat-lover, Fernando's Kaffee frequenter, Habitat volunteer and all around fantastic BIRD Guide.  Thank you, Clive!

Clive Rainey, cat-lover, Fernando’s Kaffee frequenter, Habitat volunteer and all around fantastic BIRD Guide. Thank you, Clive!

   

 

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La FEM: Improving Coffee Production & Women’s Rights in Nicaragua

Written by Cafe Campesino on October 2, 2012 in POSTS FROM THE FIELD

Julia Salinas of LA FEM harvests ripe coffee cherries in Nicaragua. Photo by Julia Baumgartner for Cafe Campesino. September 2012.

La Fundacion Entre Mujeres is a well organized all-women’s NGO in northern Nicaragua that is committed to selling quality, Fair Trade coffee while simultaneously supporting the ideological, economic, and political empowerment of rural women.  La FEM supports female empowerment through a variety of projects that include an education program that promotes literacy;  a gender equality-focus in primary and secondary schools; education in alternative careers (such as sustainable development); the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights; access to health services for women; a community network of rural defenders that help stop violence;  diversified and organic food production and a strategy for the economic empowerment of women.  All projects are carried out under a focus of sustainable economic development for the adults and youth that these programs reach. Through such programs, women from the rural communities are able to participate and be real actors in transforming their own realities, making decisions in the development politics carried out by la FEM.

La FEM and COFFEE PRODUCTION

La FEM began in 1995 when director Diana Martinez began to organize women from rural communities in the north of Nicaragua. The initial focus of the organization was to create an autonomous space for rural women that would challenge the traditional, male-dominated model of rural development and to promote women’s rights.  Access to land has always been a key aspect of FEM’s proposal, allowing women to be autonomous and individual subjects of their own development.  With that, comes the need to provide adequate access to development resources such as credit, seeds, alternative technologies, infrastructure, and markets.  With an overarching feminist vision, FEM participates actively in the larger Feminist Movement of Nicaragua and promotes raising consciousness on the rights of women.

A meeting of women in Communidad El Colorado who are benefiting from the rebuilding project. Photo by Julia Baumgartner. September 2012.

Under the larger umbrella organization of La FEM are six smaller cooperatives scattered throughout the northern region of Nicaragua, which groups together around 150 women coffee farmers.  These women are cultivating a total of 164 manzanas of land (about 284 acres) that focus on organic coffee production. Through their connection with La FEM, women farmers have access to trainings that will help them improve their coffee production.  At a centralized location, women also have access to a large nursery full of 80,000 healthy, new, organic plants as well as organic fertilizers made with recycled materials from the nearby farms, as well as a coffee roaster and cupping lab.  Each of the cooperatives contains a wet mill, where coffee is depulped before it is sent to a nearby processing facility to be dried on patios, milled, and exported.  Focusing on alternative markets and being educated on the entire production chain, FEM sells their products both locally in Esteli as well as internationally. All local products are marketed under the label “Las Diosas” (goddess in English), with a symbol that represents the moon and the rain together with the women’s symbol.

EMPOWERING WOMEN FOR LOCAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

FEM has operated for over 15 years as an NGO, but has strives to make the cooperatives more independent from their organization, empowering women farmers so they manage not only production, but also the commercialization of their products. After years in the making, the dream of a secondary-level cooperative or a central location to organize the cooperatives and offer services is finally coming through. This effort is more important than ever now that NGOs in Central America are being hit hard by the economic crisis in Europe, which had been a resource for many NGO-led projects in the country. Especially here in Nicaragua, many NGO’s were formed in the ’90s as a response to the new neoliberal government’s defeat over the Sandinistas.  Services were quickly privatized during that time, causing a surge in NGOs that came about to offer basic services to Nicaraguans.  Since then, Nicaragua has counted on a steady income of financing or cooperation for development projects from Europe.  These days, NGOs are seeing their support dwindling from European organizations, as their economics continue to go downhill. Many NGO’s are feeling the hit and are being forced to close down or are looking for alternatives to continue to support the communities they have been working with.

FEM’s response is to organize a secondary-level cooperative with the idea of improving facilities that already exist nearby, housing a coffee plant nursery, organic fertilizer facility, and cupping lab. The women are working to invest their social premiums from coffee sales into the development of this larger cooperative and continue to use the skills they have acquired through la FEM to work even more directly with their buyers as well as to improve production levels. The cooperatives will continue to diversify both their incomes and their food supply, not only focusing on coffee, but also the production of hibiscus flower (for wine, jams, and tea), basic grains, vegetables, and milk production. A small group of women have also been working on constructing sustainable ovens so that women can bake whole grain bread for their families and to sell at local markets.

CHANGING MALE-DOMINATED CULTURES

Rosibel, Lilian and Veronica of the LA FEM cooperative are working on sustainable ovens that they will use to bake bread to sell in their local village in Nicaragua.  Photo by Julia Baumgartner. September 2012.

By having access to their own parcels of land while also participating in the Fair Trade market, women organized under La FEM have seen dramatic changes in their lives. This organization not only helps women to increase their household incomes, but it is also changes the culture of each of the communities that it reaches.  By allowing women to be subjects rather than objects of their own development, they feel more empowered economically and thus are able to have more ownership over their work. Women are no longer solely dependent on partners who may not treat them well, and with their economic independence, are more likely to leave an unhealthy relationship. With their own incomes they can be more autonomous in their decision-making and benefit from an improved self-esteem. Women who have been active with la FEM have said that they have had increased confidence-levels, because they have had a comfortable space to share their opinions and ideas.  This confidence has translated also into areas outside of la FEM, into public spaces such as town hall meetings or inside their homes. Daughters of these women are also beginning to think differently. They are the fruits of all of their mothers’ efforts and have learned to be more confident in their opinions and more aware of their rights as women. There’s no doubt that this work is changing the culture in which they live.

As long as consumers in the United States continue to consume their coffee, women will feel motivated to continue to move forward with better prices to invest more in their farms. Their hope is to receive higher prices to improve not only the quality of our product, but the quality of their lives as women.  Connections with buyers in the US have helped farmers gain access to new information through farmer exchanges and encounters with consumers to better understand Fair Trade from both sides of the market, and also to feel that they are not alone in their struggle.

Article written for Cafe Campesino by Julia Baumgartner, who is living and working with LA FEM .

Join Cafe Campesino in supporting La FEM by purchasing their coffee online at:
http://www.cafecampesino.com/LA_FEM_Coffee_Viennese_Roast_p/c211.htm

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Sweetwater Coffeehouse in Sautee Nachoochee, Ga.

Written by nema on May 9, 2012 in POSTS FROM THE FIELD


Carolyn Hayes, owner-operator of Sweetwater Coffeehouse

Cozy shaded area, visible from Ga. HWY 17 in Sautee.

Front porch where “Transition Sautee” was born!

Inside the coffeehouse.

Facejugs are a folk art common to the North Georgia Mountains.  These were made by artist, Don Wheatley, and are for sale inside Sweetwater Coffeehouse.  See more facejugs at the Georgia Folk Pottery Museum, located right down the road from Sweetwater Coffeehouse in Sautee.

More information

Nestled in the soft foothills of Georgia’s Appalachian Mountains sits a 19-year-old coffee house that has been dedicated to Fair Trade since its inception.  Sweetwater Coffeehouse, owned and operated by Carolyn Hayes since 2008, serves up coffees, teas, good food and fellowship in Sautee, Ga., where it acts as a “third place” (first being “home” and second being “work”) for many local residents.  In fact, conversations held on its front porch gave birth to “Transition Sautee,” a local initiative to make Sautee more sustainable and locally focused.  Based on an international movement grounded in the principles of permaculture, “Transition Towns” work to enliven their local economies in an effort to reduce their dependency on oil and bring individuals back into community.  Get a sense for how Sweetwater Coffee House faciltated these discussion by  visiting in person- 2242 Georgia Hwy 17 Sautee Nacoochee, Ga.  Cafe Campesino is  happy to supply Sweetwater alongside longtime Fair Trade coffee roaster Thanksgiving Coffee Co., based in Fort Bragg, Ca.

 

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Cafe Campesino and FECAFEB in Chiapas, Mexico

Written by Geoffrey on February 1, 2012 in POSTS FROM THE FIELD

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Preliminary Update on Recent Trip to Bolivia by Tripp Pomeroy

Written by Cafe Campesino on June 14, 2011 in POSTS FROM THE FIELD

On June 1st I wrapped up what was nothing short of a fantastic ten days in Bolivia, where I teamed up with Julia Baumgartner of Just Coffee and Brad Brandhorst of Larry’s Beans to assess and document our current trading relationships with Fecafeb and their members AIPEP, Mejillones, and Pasybol. The three of us went down on behalf of Cooperative Coffees under the auspices of the USAID “Farmer to Farmer” program. Our travels to Bolivia’s coffee country and meetings and interviews with our trading partners there reinforced how important direct, transparent relationships are and confirmed that the new commercialization team and board of directors of Fecafeb are more committed than ever to the core principles of fair trade and transparency. We left Bolivia feeling extremely fortunate to be working with our partners there. What follows is a quick overview of Fecafeb and what we learned about their plans for improving their coffee production. Stay tuned for updates on the individual coffee coops we met with – Mejillones, Pasybol, and AIPEP – in the next edition of Fair Grounds.

Fecafeb is Bolivia’s non-governmental coffee federation. It has 36 full members (individual coffee cooperatives) and 4 groups in process of becoming members. In all there are some 6,000 families belonging to the coops that constitute the organization. Fecafeb accounts for 80% of Bolivia’s exports (99% of members have 1/2 to 4 ha and very few have electricity). There are about 20,000 coffee producers in Bolivia but of Bolivia’s $15m total coffee exports, Fecafeb accounts for $11m with the rest commercialized through the country’s network of k’iros (aka. “coffee brokers”), making Bolivia a bona fide “small-scale producer” coffee country (and we like working with bona fide small scale producers).

Many of the coffee farmers with whom we met are descendants of folks who migrated from the Alto Plano of Bolivia, seeking work and financial opportunity. As a result, coffee farming has been a livelihood for many for only a few generations, consequently, coffee expertise, infrastructure, and systems are limited. Despite these limitations, the coffee we get from our partners in Bolivia is excellent, thanks to their hard work, diligence, fertile soil, and artisanal approach to coffee processing – from the farms to the hand selection of all the coffee we buy.

Fecefab has big plans for developing the infrastructure and technical support its members need not only to maintain their organic production systems but to improve them and their yields as well. Fecafeb’s current goal is to help its members triple their yields in the next five years. However, Fecafeb only has two extension agents now – Mateo Larico and Ruben Castillo – and they need a total of 20. Mateo and Ruben are extraordinary guys who are making the most out of their limited resources at present. They are awaiting word on proposals they have submitted that will dramatically expand their ability to provide technical support, develop the infrastructure their members need, and, ultimately lead to the increase in yields and quality they seek.

Right now, without adequate resources for face-to-face ag extension with all of its members, Fecafeb has chosen the radio as the most cost-effective medium for communicating with its geographically dispersed membership. They pay for a weekly radio program (on which we were interviewed for an hour during our visit) that airs every Monday from 10-11am. During this hour long show, technical support is provided to listeners throughout the coffee region, as is information about quality control and pricing. Fecefeb also coordinates its own internal “farmer to farmer” exchanges to help spread best practices throughout its members’ organizations. Exchanges with coffee producers from Peru, Nicaragua, and other coffee growing countries have also helped to improve practices. The proposals that they have submitted would provide funding to hire an additional 15 extension agents, build a seed and organic fertilizer production facility, and establish a loan facility for members to install new drying tables, among other things. These resources would also help them to address the other challenges their members face, which include: the age of the plants – much of the existing stock needs to be replaced with new plants; insufficient plant density – they believe that they need to almost double the number of plants per ha; and maintaining sustainable farming practices and, in particular, ensuring that the soil is fed with organic matter and microorganisms and that its biodiversity is maintained.

In the next edition of Fair Grounds, I’ll provide an overview of our journey and info about our coffee growing partners at Mejillones, Pasybol, and AIPEP.

 
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Great First Day in La Paz… Heading Out to Caranavi.

Written by Cafe Campesino on May 27, 2011 in POSTS FROM THE FIELD

Just a quick check-in… we had a very good meeting yesterday with several members of Fecafeb’s board of directors (recently elected in March) and the new commercialization manager, Elias Chocnapi. Lots of good energy and strategic thinking on their part – we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to spend quality time with them over the next week. Yesterday, we talked in their office in El Alto (felt like their office was on the 50th floor because of the altitude – it’s actually only on the 3rd). We met for three and a half hours, learning about developments in their organization, conditions and prices in the local market, plans for the future, their individual and collective takes on Fair Trade, and a number of other issues. Yields are high this year but so are prices in the local market, which is presenting a real challenge for our trading partners here, as they are throughout the coffee lands. We have many things to study, learn, and assess as we head out into the field.

This morning we will head back up to their office in El Alto and meet with the folks from Pasybol – a small coop that is part of Fecafeb. We bought some of their great coffee in years past and are hoping to learn more about their current status and production capacity, among other things.

After our meeting we’ll head down (four hours or so) to Caranavi where we will spend the next few days meeting with our other coffee producers there and meeting with the rest of the Fecafeb board. From Caranavi, we’ll head out another three hours or so to Canton Calama where we will meet with more of the folks who produce our Bolivian coffee.

I’ll check in when we’re back to internet access… though can’t say I’m in a rush to get back to it – La Paz has been great and the people even better.

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Arrived in La Paz – El Alto Airport!

Written by Cafe Campesino on May 26, 2011 in POSTS FROM THE FIELD

I arrived this morning at 5am at El Alto (it means high, veeery high – say 13,325 feet above sea level) airport in La Paz Bolivia with my fellow Cooperative Coffees’ amigos Brad Brandhorst of Larry’s Beans and Julia Baumgartner of Just Coffee. We’re here for the next week to meet with our trading partners at Fecafeb as part of the USAID Farmer to Farmer program. Just wrapped up an hour long walk around the neighborhood – La Paz means the peace… which so far, has been our experience. Head out to Caranavi tomorrow – stay tuned!

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It’s SHOWTIME: Watch our TV Premiere!

Written by nema on January 20, 2011 in POSTS FROM THE FIELD

That’s right- we’ve hit it big.   Georgia Public Broadcasting- big.  Cafe Campesino’s Americus and Sweet Auburn Curb Market locations will be featured on GPB’s Georgia Traveler episode, which airs this weekend (Friday, Jan. 21, at 8p.m., Saturday, Jan. 22, at  7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 23,  at 7:30 p.m. on GPB stations).  Learn more about the episode, entitled “Gathering and Giving,” below, or watch it online now.

At the roaster in Americus, Bill & Tripp are interviewed by David Zelski.

The GA Travelin' car parked in front of our HQ in Americus.

Read more…

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Fellow Co-op Member is named the Micro-Roaster of 2011!

Written by nema on November 9, 2010 in POSTS FROM THE FIELD

Congratulations go out to Conscious Coffees!    Conscious Coffees is a fellow Cooperative Coffees member that is based in Boulder, Colorado.  They were recently selected as Micro-Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine.  Check out Roast Magazine‘s article in its November/December 2010 issue and see what what Conscious Coffees owner Mark Glenn has to say about his relationship with Cooperative Coffees, the green bean importing cooperative that supplies him (and Cafe Campesino & Sweetwater) with some of the world’s best coffee! 

The picture above is from Roast Magazine’s article.  It is taken by JT Thomas.

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