Taya Brown on Supporting Smallholder Entry into the Specialty Coffee Market | Re:co Symposium 2019

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Today, we’re very happy to present the first video from “Cost of Production and Profitability for Coffee Producers,” a session recorded at Re:co Symposium this past April. Buyers and producers alike need to understand what it takes to produce specialty coffee so that it can be produced sustainably, so we convened experts to ask: Do we really know what specialty coffee costs? 

SCA Lead Scholar Taya Brown worked with several communities of smallholder coffee farmers in Yepocapa, Guatemala to better understand the obstacles they face in uptake of new technologies. Profitability was found to be the main constraint, affecting nearly all aspects of production, sale, and innovation. Addressing low profitability, however, isn’t as straightforward as one might think. To gain true autonomy, farmers need more than just higher prices – they need to better understand how their own field, harvest, and post-harvest management affects their coffee’s quality, value, and potential to reach higher-paying markets.  

Special Thanks to Toddy 

This talk from Re:co Boston is supported by Toddy. For over 50 years, Toddy brand cold brew systems have delighted baristas, food critics, and regular folks alike. By extracting all the natural and delicious flavors of coffee and tea, Toddy Cold Brew Systems turn your favorite coffee beans and tea leaves into fresh cold brew concentrates, that are ready to serve and enjoy. Learn more about Toddy at http://www.toddycafe.com.

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Table of Contents

0:00 Introduction
2:20 Smallholder farmers are not profitable and are leaving the coffee business
5:15 Smallholder farmers have a lack of resources and that translates to a lack of confidence, which requires motivation, support and education to solve.
11:30 Introducing ECA Montellano, a Guatemalan cooperative, explaining in their own words their hopes for the future, what motivates them and what support and education they need from the specialty community.
20:45 Outro