22 Mar '12, 6pm

Seeking a Sustainable Path for Coffee, and Coffee Farmers, in Haiti

Seeking a Sustainable Path for Coffee, and Coffee Farmers, in Haiti

What led you to Haiti, in particular? A. I’ve been sourcing raw coffee for many years, in many countries, for my roasting company La Colombe. My search in Haiti began the season of the earthquake, and I stepped it up in terms of urgency after the quake. What many people do not know is that the earthquake occurred at the start of the coffee shipping phase of the season. Little coffee from that season made it out, which for farmers compounded the disaster. Q. What are the main impediments to turning this into a sustainable resource? A. If by sustainable you mean financially sustainable, the most intimidating barrier I face in every coffee region and the biggest impediment to sustainability in Haiti, is the presence of “coyotes,” or the exploitative, often violent, coffee shakedown artists. The coyote typically “loan sharks” the peasant farmer small amounts of cash during the...

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/seeking-a-su...

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