The coffee sector continues evolving its approaches to sustainability and improved livelihoods at origin. While certifications continue playing a major role in what we understand as sustainability and the coffee sector is getting a better understanding on what living income implies, many buyers have also shifted their focus and investment towards developing community projects that tackle specific needs. This offers advantages including: quicker tangible results, strengthening relationships between buyers and producers, and many others. Nonetheless, although this alternative approach can be very beneficial, the development of these projects must be inclusive, impactful, and correctly adopted by the communities. This lecture will give an overview of the basic principles for co-creating development projects in coffee communities, the advantages that can be obtained, how this relates to other sustainability approaches, and how to overcome challenges that can distort impacts.
María Paz Lobo is an environmental engineer with a Master Professional in Development Projects given by the Interamerican Development Bank. She is currently in charge of Sustainability at The Coffee Source, a green coffee importer in North America and Europe. She previously was Project Manager at The Coffee Institute of Costa Rica and in charge of Sustainability and Traceability for 5 years. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Specialty Coffee Association of Costa Rica (SCACR) and Bean Voyage Costa Rica. She is also a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.
Mark Gstell is Managing Partner/Founder of Portland Coffee Roasters established 1996. Mark oversees a staff of 110 and is responsible for all areas of the operation. His leadership has earned the company local, national, and international recognition for its business achievements and sustainability initiatives. Portland Coffee Roasters is a carbon neutral company and has won both the SCAA’s Sustainability Award, and the Roast Magazine Roaster of The Year for its Quality and Sustainability programs. Portland Coffee Roasters is a roaster retail business with national wholesale and local retail. Mark is also the founder of Portland Global Initiatives a global nonprofit that’s focus is to helping coffee communities around the world. In addition to roasting and retail Mark and his family also co-own a coffee farm in Tanzania Africa and sell the farm's coffee all over the world.
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