"THE ITALIAN ESPRESSO IS DYING"
was the plea from the Instituto Interamericano from the Financing Forum held at the International Coffee Organization (ICO) on Tuesday 23rd September, 2014. This quote was one of many bold statements throughout the day. The Forum was dedicated to "Bridging the Gap Between Farmers & Finance."
I was honoured to attend as part of the delegation for El Salvador.
The ICO is the intergovernmental organization that facilitates coffee policy by bringing the public and private sector together to address issues impacting coffee.
The goal for the day was to establish direct dialogue; and bring the various organizations together to build and create wealth amongst farmers. (Note: term poverty wasn’t used.)
The day was composed of 3 Panel Discussions with breaks to encourage networking and off line discussions.
To me this was a bit of a personal milestone. When I had the idea to "get back into coffee" way back, I dreamed of attending these kind of meetings and aspire to be a catalyst for change.
I was able to express my concerns to the necessary organisations of the issues that El Salvadorans are facing.
Not only are we entering a coffee season that is recovering from an 80% devastation from leaf rust, but farmers are battling a new plague - the red spider which has spread across many coffee farms. Farmers joke that Spider Man has attacked their farms. Due to the drought the summer brought, the spider has spread across many farms. To add insult to injury, the 80% loss in production had additional repercussions not just impacting farmers harvest. Other members of the supply chain have declared bankruptcy, credit lines have been restricted, and cash is tight. This deserves a separate post in itself.
If you’re interested in my unofficial notes drop me an email.
Thanks to the Embassy of El Salvador for allowing me to participate in such a wonderful day.