This course should give you an understanding of the structure of the coffee supply chain from seed to cup.
We will analyze the main actors in the chain and their roles. We will also present the processes coffee goes through from the seed that is planted, to the cherry harvested, to the green bean exported, to the beverage in your cup. Additionally, the relationships between supply chain actors and inflection points represented by nodes of the chain will be discussed.
These structures and systems will be presented objectively and ethical questions will largely be left to students to evaluate independently until they are brought up in subsequent courses in the program.
Karl is the founder, director, and farmer advocate at the Cedro Alto coffee farmers' collective, based in Colombia. He and his organization strive to reorganize coffee and commodity trading by leveraging the sharing economy to ensure smallholder farmers are compensated for the true value of their products and create economic incentives for the preservation and regeneration of native biodiversity and natural resources.
Pre-coffee, he worked in management consulting focusing on import/export and international competitive strategy before shifting his focus to rural development economics, supporting farmer organizations, government and NGO efforts, and carried out extensive research into agricultural supply chains in post-colonial territories and their interaction with global markets. Today he seeks to leverage his experiences, education, and contacts to foment significant and permanent improvements to the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of agricultural landscapes and communities, beginning with specialty coffee.
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