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Jagong has been around continually for longer than just about any coffee we offer. We're preparing to bid it farewell, at least for a while.
Coffee Buyer & Quality Manager Tim Hill went to El Salvador in January with Head Roaster Jeff McArthur to visit Aida Batlle. Last week, Tim filed a compelling trip report on flickr that includes lots of information about both the challenges facing Central American coffee producers and the exciting experiments being done with Aida that may eventually surface in our Fall 2013 Work in Progress. Check out Tim's annotated photo set on flickr.
A guide for the report at the end of your Seeds project with Counter Culture Coffee
Your report can be in any format that is most useful and easiest for your group. We only request that each of the questions below is addressed. You can either fill out this form as your evaluation or you can submit something separate by email to Thank you! Please note that these responses will potentially be used by Counter Culture marketing to share the successes of your project with our wider audience. We hope that you will also share the results of the project with your producers and partners.
What were the original goals of your project?
Here please include a brief summary of what you attempted to achieve initially with Seeds funds.
What progress have you made toward these goals with the Seeds funds you received?
What are your measurable outcomes / how do you know it was a success?
In this section you might include number of people impacted by your project, organizations that you worked with to complete the project and thus new relationships that were formed, number of workshops held, etc.
What would you like to have done differently? What are some lessons you learned throughout the process?
In some cases where funding is expected from other sources and does not arrive, this can impact project outcomes. Other changes/lessons learned might include: we wished we had included more perspectives of participants in planning and carrying out the project for optimal success, improving communication with partner organizations, or better accounting for time and costs involved in the project.
What was the response of the community or group of producers involved?
Here is where we would like to hear any results of small scale surveys you may have given participants or just a summary of informal conversations had with those affected by the project. Also, as project organizer, your own impressions are key here. Quotations from participants and/or project leaders as well as photographs are welcome!
What will change in the future as a result of this project?
Obviously this will look different based on the type of project you did. This is the section where you can speak more to the big picture. Think about the impact at the family, community, or cooperative level. i.e. "families now have the necessary knowledge to diversify their agricultural practices and feed their families year round." Or, "Previously toxic runoff water from washing the coffee will now be able to go through a filtration process. Neighboring waters will no longer be at risk of contamination from our practices."
Are there any next steps for this project? If so, what are the next steps?
Next steps might include continuing to work with the non-profit on another initiative, following up with participants one year from now to see what changes have been made, or increasing the scale of the project to reach more individuals, or, building an addition to the wet mill or to the school building, etc.
Una guía para su informe al fin de su proyecto de Seeds de Counter Culture Coffee
Su informe puede ser en cualquier formato que es más útil y fácil para su grupo. Solo pedimos que toca todas las temas mencionados debajo. Puede llenar ese formulario o puede someter algo separado por correo electrónico a ¡Gracias! Por favor notar que las respuestas potencialmente serán utilizados por el equipo de marketing de Counter Culture para compartir los éxitos de su proyecto con el público más amplio. También esperamos que ustedes compartirán los resultados del proyecto con los productores y los socios.
¿Cual fueron las metas originales del proyecto?
Aqui favor de incluir un resumen pequeño de lo que intentaron a alcanzar inicialmente con los fondos de Seeds.
¿Que progreso han hecho hacia esas metas con los fondos que recibieron de Seeds?
¿Que son sus resultados mensurables / como sabe que fue un éxito? En esa parte podría incluir el número de las personas impactados con su proyecto, las organizaciones con quien trabajaron para cumplir el proyecto y las sociedades nuevos que estaban formados, el número de talleres que tuvieron, etc.
¿Qué es lo que hubiera hecho de manera distinta? Que son unos de los lecciones aprendidos a través del proceso?
En unos casos donde haya la esperanza de recibir fondos de otros fuentes y no viene, eso puede impactar los resultados del proyecto. Los otros retos/lecciones aprendidos puede ser: deseábamos que incluimos más perspectivas de los participantes en la planificación y en llevar a cabo el proyecto para el éxito óptimo, mejorar la comunicación con las organizaciones socios, o mejor justificación del tiempo y los costos necesarios para el proyecto.
¿Qué fue la respuesta de la comunidad o grupo de los productores involucrados?
Aquí es donde nos gustaríamos escuchar cualquier resultados de las encuestas breves que tal vez ha dado a sus participantes o un resumen informal de las conversaciones que ha tenido con los que han sido impactados por el proyecto. También, como líder del proyecto, sus impresiones son claves aquí. ¡Comentarios directos de los participantes y/o líderes del proyecto tanto como los fotografías son bienvenidos!
¿Que va a cambiar en el futuro como un resultado de ese proyecto?
Obviamente eso va a parecer distinto basado en el tipo de proyecto que hicieron. Esa sección es donde hablar más al visión amplio. Piensa en el impacto al nivel de la familia, la comunidad, o la cooperativa, e.g. 'ahora las familias tienen el conocimiento necesario para diversificar sus prácticas agrícolas y dar comida a sus familias para el año entero.' O, 'anteriormente el agua escorrentía tóxico de lavar el café ahora puede ir por el proceso de filtración. Los aguas en la vecindad ya no están en riesgo de la contaminación de nuestros prácticos.'
¿Haya unos próximos pasos con ese proyecto? Si responde 'si,' ¿Que son los próximos pasos?
Los próximos pasos podrían incluir seguir trabar con el mismo ONG en una otra iniciativa, tener seguimiento con los participantes un año de ahora a ver que tipos de cambios han hecho, o aumentar la cala del proyecto para alcanzar más gente, o, construir una adición al beneficio húmedo o a la escuela, etc.
Are there any next steps for this project? If so, what are the next steps?
Next steps might include continuing to work with the non-profit on another initiative, following up with participants one year from now to see what changes have been made, or increasing the scale of the project to reach more individuals, or, building an addition to the wet mill or to the school building, etc.
Please contact our Sustainability Department for information.
Our Coffee Department visits a lot of growing regions each year, and they keep up with cooperatives and individual farmers throughout the year between visits through a variety of digital communications – from email to video conferencing. It's always great to hear updates along the way to feel connected to the producers of the coffees we love.
Coffee Buyer's Agent Hannah Popish got an email this week from Jorge Recinos. Jorge and his twin brother Javier run their family's Finca Nueva Armenia in Huehuetenango, Guatemala – from which we've been buying coffee for 10 years and are always happy to welcome back! The photos Jorge sent can be seen in the flickr set included here. And, here's Hannah's translated summary:
They started picking on December 14 and feel confident the quality this year will be even higher. We will likely get three containers from them, including Grotto or Gemelos microlots and 2-3 bags of Maragojipe. Leaf rust has definitely hit Guatemala, but, with the help of a lot of hard workers, they feel confident they have it controlled at FNA with organic pesticides. And, they continue to hope for more rain! And, Happy New Year from Finca Nueva Armenia!
Seeds is an acronym that stands for Sustaining Environmental and Educational Development at Source. Our Seeds program was created to structure and define Counter Culture's monetary contributions to projects that are not coffee-quality-specific but still benefit our coffee-producing partners and their communities. To date, we have contributed a total of $24,963 to projects in 6 countries. We'd like to catch you up on the projects we have funded over the last couple of years through our Seeds program with an eye toward more regular updates of ongoing projects.
Our Eighth Project: Justa Clean Cook Stoves
COMSA Cooperative
Marcala, Honduras
The COMSA cook stoke project in action.
This Seeds project was unique in that Counter Culture initiated it as a way to address our carbon offsets. In 2009 we set the goal to reach carbon neutrality in 5 years. This project allowed us to reach neutrality in just 2 years!
The high level of involvement and organization from both the partner non-governmental organization (NGO) and the cooperative on the ground made this an ideal project. Preliminary meetings were held with the cooperative leadership, a local development NGO, and US-based Trees, Water & People to develop the most effective plan. In two short weeks, 86 stoves were built by local specialists and cooperative members. Over the lifespan of these stoves, 645 tons of carbon dioxide will be avoided. In total, 626 family members of COMSA producers will benefit from cleaner indoor air and more disposable income, and they will use less than half of the wood required by their previous cook stoves.
We won't know the long-term results until health impact measures are taken over time. However, the initial reports sent to us from COMSA and Trees, Water & People were thorough, and we feel confident that they will continue to pursue greater metrics and inform us when they have additional details.
Today marks the last update on Seeds projects of years past. Thanks for following along for these installments. At the end of January, we will begin accepting applications for our next funding cycle of Seeds projects. As new projects are completed, we will continue to report back on impact at origin and lessons learned. Please don't hesitate to be in touch with comments, questions, or suggestions!
And, this project was featured on our website, which also links to a Trees, Water & People slide show of the project.
Traditional coffee with Tena adam (rue) from Tim's stop in Coche in Ethiopia.
Coffee Buyer & Quality Manager Tim Hill, visited Ethiopia at the end of November and recently posted two sets of photos from his trip. The first part of the trip, Tim spent several days with coffee researchers in and around Jimma, followed by a trip to southern Ethiopia where he spent time at cooperatives under the Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union – the group that includes the producers of Haru, Idido, and Beloya.
Read Tim's trip report from the research-focused portion of his visit to Ethiopia on Flickr. And, from his visit with some of our producer partners in southern Ethiopia, Tim posted a second Flickr set that includes a fairly comprehensive account of the work that's being done to improve coffees we get from Ethiopia and a detailed list of lots in progress. Enjoy!