Sustainable Harvest Kicks-Off 11th Annual Let’s Talk Coffee

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More than 500 people from across the coffee supply chain are gathered in El Salvador for three days of presentations, panel discussions and training sessions focused on addressing the growing instability of the coffee business caused by climate change and volatile market prices. Headliners this year include: Oliver Strand, coffee curator for the New York Times; Stanford University’s Design School (d.school); Acopio; and the first-ever Harvee awards.

Relationships are critical to the future of specialty coffee. But it's not enough just to know each other, we need to address the volatility that plagues the market.

Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers today announced the kick-off of its signature annual event Let’s Talk Coffee. More than 500 people from across the coffee supply chain are gathered in El Salvador for three days of presentations, panel discussions and training sessions to focused on addressing the growing instability of the coffee business caused by climate change and volatile market prices. Headliners this year include Oliver Strand, coffee curator for the New York Times and Stanford University’s Design School (d.school).

The invitation-only event brings together farmers, roasters, retailers, financiers, NGOs and government officials among others. Let’s Talk Coffee is a key component of the unique Relationship Coffee Model pioneered by Sustainable Harvest which has become the foundation for the breadth of responsible sourcing initiatives throughout the industry.

“Relationships are critical to the future of specialty coffee,” notes David Griswold, President and Founder of Sustainable Harvest. “However it’s not enough to just know each other, we must work collaboratively to address the volatility that plagues the coffee industry. Let’s Talk Coffee offers a unique forum for fostering these conversations.”

During his opening address, Griswold announced the expansion of Sustainable Harvest's sourcing portfolio as a result of a new partnership with Sumatra-based Orangutan Coffee Project. The project trains Sumatran coffee farmers to manage their plantations in ways that protect the local rainforests which serve as the natural habitat for the nearly extinct Sumatran orangutans. Orangutan coffees will be Sustainable’s first sourced from Asia.

The company will also host the first-ever Harvee awards to recognize those producers in Sustainable Harvest’s supply chain who have demonstrated organizational excellence relative to growth, productivity and quality. Winners will be announced during a special ceremony held the second evening of Let’s Talk Coffee 2013.

Let’s Talk Coffee 2013 participants showcasing new ideas include Acopio, a technology startup offering tools and services that help coffee producers collect, manage, and share the data that is vital to their business operations. Acopio will demonstrate a new service called The Coffee Pages that helps increase visibility for producers on the internet. The site will provide a centralized location for producers to share stories and information about their farms and coffees.

“The Coffee Pages uses technology to help producers connect directly with those in the supply chain,” notes Paul Goodman, CEO and co-founder of Acopio. “Let’s Talk Coffee is the ideal event from which to launch this project and we’re excited to be part of it.”

About Sustainable Harvest

Sustainable Harvest is a B Corporation that delivers high quality, award winning coffees sourced from Latin America and East Africa to customers ranging from large retailers to boutique roasters, including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Ben & Jerry's, Allegro/Whole Foods Markets, Cafe Mystique, Cafe Moto, Blue Bottle, Collectivo (Alterra), Dillanos, Water Avenue and many others. Working with 200,000 specialty coffee small-holder farmers from 15 countries in Latin America and East Africa, Sustainable Harvest improves the lives of coffee growers by conducting trainings focused on specialty and sustainable growing methods, leveraging technology and creating linkages with top coffee roasters and retailers. Sustainable Harvest is one of the INC 5000 fastest growing private coffee companies for the past five years and was selected at the G20 Mexico Summit in 2012 as a winner of the IFC Inclusive Business Award. For more information, visit http://www.sustainableharvest.com/.

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Pam Kahl
Sustainable Harvest Inc.
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