Coffee is big business!
I love coffee, especially organic, shade grown coffee. My wife Heather, a former independent coffee shop owner, has always had an interest in international development (she graduated from the University of Guelph) with a degree in that field. When she got involved in the coffee shop, she made it a point to introduce organic, shade grown, Fair Trade Certified coffee to her customers.
Since that time, I’ve been interested in the business model associated with Fair Trade and was delighted that the folks at Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers agreed to join me for a conversation. Our guest, Jorge Cuevas is a coffee expert and we caught up with him at his office in Oaxaca, Mexico.
I encourage you to follow Sustainable Harvest’s blog. You can do so right here: http://blog.sustainableharvest.com/.
About Jorge Cuevas
Part of the Sustainable Harvest team since 2002, Jorge Cuevas directs the company’s trade operations from the Oaxaca office. He oversees new business development from both the roaster and grower sides with supply operations in 14 origins and sales in five countries. He also coordinates supplier relationships from all four Sustainable Harvest at Origin offices in Mexico, Peru and Tanzania to find the most suitable markets and roaster partners for coffee growers.
Jorge has extensive experience in building organizations within the specialty coffee industry, dating back to 1994. Prior to his work with Sustainable Harvest, Jorge sparked the creation of La Trinidad Pluma cooperative and founded a non-profit agency, FOMCAFE, to provide growers with technical assistance. Jorge also co-founded PRECOX, an organic dry coffee mill in Oaxaca which has recently been acquired by a consortium of farmer cooperatives called UNOPCAFE. Jorge has served on the Sustainability Committee of the Specialty Coffee Association of America and is an active participant in Fair Trade forums and leading coffee events. Jorge is a Coffee Quality Institute-certified Q Grader and has a degree in international studies from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT.
About Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers
Sustainable Harvest has grown into a company of nearly thirty dedicated staff members. We import coffee from fourteen countries around the world, with offices in Portland, Oregon; Oaxaca, Mexico; Lima, Peru; and Moshi and Kigoma, Tanzania. What’s more, we have become a leading voice for change in the industry, moving specialty coffee far beyond the exploitative model founder David Griswold saw in 1989. In the process, we have helped create sustainable livelihoods for tens of thousands of coffee farmers while bringing their high quality beans to thousands of consumers around the world.
Read the complete story of Sustainable Harvest here.