Next month in Panama, coffee importer Sustainable Harvest, in conjunction with Catholic Relief Services and social investor Oikocredit, will launch a new event called Let’s Talk Cocoa. The event will bring together farmers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders from the cocoa industry for a series of workshops focused on cocoa production in Latin America.
The event, which takes place October 9-12, will be held in conjunction with Sustainable Harvest’s annual Let’s Talk Coffee conference, with attendees able to attend both events.
Let’s Talk Cocoa will focus on full value chain inclusion, helping to connect cocoa farmers with the global market in sustainable, quality-focused, and impactful ways. The topics addressed at Let’s Talk Cocoa will include:
• Understanding the cocoa market
• Establishing a common cocoa taste language
• Implementing post-harvest practices to increase cocoa quality and consistency
Sustainable Harvest founder David Griswold says the idea for the event came from listening to farmers’ needs. “We’ve heard from many of our stakeholders about the increasing need for coffee farmers to diversify into other crops, as diseases like coffee rust and other factors make it more and more difficult to make a living on coffee alone,” he says. “We look forward to Let’s Talk Cocoa kickstarting the conversation around issues of sustainability in cocoa and providing a window into that industry that will benefit our entire supply chain.”
About Let’s Talk Coffee
Now in its 13th year, Let’s Talk Coffee brings together over 500 supply chain partners from around the world for four days of discussion, collaborative problem solving, training, and one-on-one meetings between roasters and producers. The conference is an extension of Sustainable Harvest’s Relationship Coffee Model, which aims to increase value through the supply chain by investing in growers and providing training and infrastructure. For more information,
About Sustainable Harvest
Sustainable Harvest is an importer of high-quality specialty-grade coffees from 15 countries around the world. As pioneer of the Relationship Coffee Model, Sustainable Harvest has led the paradigm shift that has served as the foundation for the direct trade model and the interest in creating a closer connection between farmers and consumers. Sustainable Harvest is a Certified B Corporation. For further information, visit www.sustainableharvest.com
About Catholic Relief Service
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency eases suffering and provides assistance to people in need in 93 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ innovative agricultural and environmental programs help people to: Prepare for and respond to disasters; increase their agricultural productivity and income; improve household health and nutrition; and promote environmental stewardship. CRS partners with private sector allies on an integrated and market-based approach to the value chain that provides technical assistance in the areas of coffee and cacao production, post-harvest processing and market engagement to some 30,000 farmers in Latin America. For more information, visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org
Oikocredit finances and invests in microfinance and social enterprises in low- income countries, with a focus on inclusive finance and organizations along the agricultural value chain. With operations in almost 70 countries, Oikocredit currently has assets totaling €801 million (US$1.1 billion), with €611 million (US$833 million) invested in over 800 partner organizations. Oikocredit’s agricultural financing expertise includes coffee, cocoa, dairy, forestry, and seeds. For more information, visit www.oikocredit.coop