Let’s Talk Coffee® 2016: Prospering in the new reality

Let’s Talk Coffee® 2016: Prospering in the new reality

On the first day of Let’s Talk Coffee® Mexico, Daniele Giovannucci of COSA delivered a presentation to the assembled crowd of coffee producers, roasters, financiers, media, and NGOs titled “The Coffee Industry at a Crossroads.” In it, he detailed the challenges from climate change, low prices, and the departure of young farmers facing coffee, and presented the power of communication throughout the supply chain as a tool to solve these challenges. “One of my dreams is that we’re creating a ‘multi-logue,’” Daniele said at Let’s Talk Coffee®. “It’s been a monologue quite often with information going one way, and sometimes it’s a dialogue where they’re talking back. But a muti-logue involves everyone in the supply chain—the community, the farmer, the buyer, and certainly the consumer—being part of what’s actually going on.” Daniele’s words rang true at Let’s Talk Coffee®, the annual global supply chain gathering that thrives on collaboration, gathering all stakeholders from the specialty-coffee supply chain to forge inclusive business relationships, learn about pressing issues from top speakers, and become stronger as an industry. Let’s Talk Coffee® Mexico, which took place October 13-16 in Puerto Vallarta, brought together 250 attendees from 20 countries, and it was a group deeply invested in the collaborative spirit of the event. For those who’ve never been, it’s hard to describe what exactly makes Let’s Talk Coffee® such an electric, almost magical event. It’s truly Relationship Coffee in action, with an intimate setting allowing all attendees the opportunity to connect. Henry Wilson, founder of digital coffee publication Perfect Daily Grind, attended Let’s Talk Coffee® for the first time in 2016 and offered this...
Let’s Talk Coffee® Interview: Vera Espindola

Let’s Talk Coffee® Interview: Vera Espindola

From October 13-16, Let’s Talk Coffee® will hold its 13th gathering, bringing together roasters, producers, financiers, and other stakeholders throughout the specialty-coffee supply chain in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Leading up to the event, we’re profiling some of the people and elements that make Let’s Talk Coffee® a unique, must-attend event. Head here for more info and to register today! Vera Espindola has worked toward building sustainable, inclusive coffee supply chains for many years, including in her previous role at UTZ Certified and now with SAGARPA, Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture. With Mexico’s coffee industry currently recovering from Coffee Leaf Rust and other challenges that have lowered its production (find out more in our recent blog here), the country’s government institutions like SAGARPA are developing plans to improve coffee production. With Mexico’s coffee industry a major topic at this year’s Let’s Talk Coffee® event, we talked to Vera to find out more about her work. Q: What are you working on with SAGARPA to benefit Mexico’s coffee industry? A: SAGARPA is Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, overseeing livestock, fisheries, food, and rural development. Within SAGARPA, they have set up a new national plan for coffee, which was launched in October 2015, and the goal is to recuperate the lost production of coffee. It’s divided into the following areas: Innovation and Transformation; Community Development; and Sustainability and Shared Value. I’m part of that last area, and my aim is to see how can we integrate certain sustainability developments and issues within the bigger plan. We’re looking at both the production side and the market side to see how we can increase the value of...
Let’s Talk Coffee®: Announcing new event pricing

Let’s Talk Coffee®: Announcing new event pricing

Let’s Talk Coffee® is now just five weeks away, with stakeholders from throughout the global supply chain preparing to join us for this one-of-a-kind industry event. In order to create the most diverse and broad gathering possible, we negotiated with our vendors to lower the registration cost for the event to $895 for producers and $1,095 for all other attendees. Register today, and apply these savings toward your flight to Mexico! What can you expect to see in Mexico? For one, Let’s Talk Coffee® is the industry’s collaborative learning platform, with cuppings, workshops, and revered speakers delivering compelling presentations on topics important to our collective future. Among the speakers at Let’s Talk Coffee® Mexico will be: • Helen Russell, co-founder of Small Business of the Year Equator Coffees & Teas • Daniele Giovannucci, president of the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA) • Tracy Ging, partner in the interdisciplinary project The Coffeewoman • Fabrizio Sencion Ramirez, former barista champion and owner of Mexico’s Cafe Estelar • Todd Carmichael, co-founder of Philadelphia’s La Colombe Let’s Talk Coffee® is also a leading platform for business. The intimate nature of the event provides ample opportunity to network with other attendees, renew existing business relationships, and forge new lasting business connections. The event takes place October 13-16 in Puerto Vallarta at the CasaMagna Marriott, an all-inclusive hotel where families are welcome to stay and be part of the Let’s Talk Coffee® experience. Book your hotel room and learn more about travel dates here. Let’s Talk Coffee® is a special event in large part because of the people who attend it. We hope you’ll join...
Let’s Talk Coffee®: A collaborative forum for business

Let’s Talk Coffee®: A collaborative forum for business

From October 13-16, Let’s Talk Coffee® will hold its 13th gathering, bringing together roasters, producers, financiers, and other stakeholders throughout the specialty-coffee supply chain in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Leading up to the event, we’re looking at some of the elements and people that make Let’s Talk Coffee® a must-attend event. Head here for more info and to register today! Since its launch in 2003, Let’s Talk Coffee® has served many functions for the global coffee industry. It’s been a meeting place, where stakeholders from throughout the supply chain travel to origin to reconnect with colleagues and meet new ones. It has been a platform for knowledge sharing, with attendees taking in compelling presentations and participating in a dialogue with the industry about the issues discussed. And it’s been a place to discover new amazing coffees and meet the producers who grew them. In each of these instances, Let’s Talk Coffee® has demonstrated its value to the coffee supply chain as one of the industry’s leading platforms for conducting business. The event’s manageable size and relaxed-but-professional setting foster a natural dialogue that leads to important business relationships that galvanize the industry. This year’s Let’s Talk Coffee® will offer many business-sparking opportunities for the global coffee community. Among them: An array of plenary sessions, including one with Helen Russell and Todd Carmichael, co-founders of leading roasting companies Equator Coffees & Teas and La Colombe, respectively, sharing their stories of boundary pushing and innovation in the competitive coffee landscape. Other plenary sessions will cover timely topics such as women’s leadership in the coffee supply chain, the coffee industry’s response to climate change, and...
Let’s Talk Coffee®: Exploring Mexico’s Coffee History

Let’s Talk Coffee®: Exploring Mexico’s Coffee History

From October 13-16, Let’s Talk Coffee® will hold its 13th gathering, bringing together roasters, producers, financiers, and other stakeholders throughout the specialty-coffee supply chain in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Leading up to the event, we’re looking at some of the elements and people that make Let’s Talk Coffee® a must-attend event. Head here for more info and to register today! Mexico is not just the producer of some of the world’s best coffees; it’s also a country that has played an important role in the history of Let’s Talk Coffee®. The event launched in Mexico in 2003, and the country hosted the first three incarnations of Let’s Talk Coffee®. In 2016, 11 years after the last Let’s Talk Coffee® in Mexico, we’re thrilled to take the event back to where it all started. As we gear up for Let’s Talk Coffee® Mexico, let’s take a closer look at our host country and its important role in the coffee landscape. Mexico is the eighth-leading producing country by volume, according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO); in 2015 the country produced 4.5 million bags (almost 500 million pounds). The majority of the country’s 400,000 coffee farmers are smallholders from regions in the southern part of the country such as Oaxaca and Chiapas (the latter of which will be the destination for a field trip during Let’s Talk Coffee®). Mexico’s history of coffee production began when Spanish colonists brought coffee plants from Antilles to Veracruz in the 18th century. Soon after, the crop became commercialized, but the Spanish were focused on the country’s more profitable mineral deposits, leaving coffee as an afterthought; Mexico...
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