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What’s Happening at Sustainable Harvest’s Let’s Talk Coffee 2014 in Panama

let's talk coffee

Let’s Talk Coffee 2013 in El Salvador. Photo courtesy of Sustainable Harvest.

Let’s Talk Coffee, the annual supply-focused event hosted by importer Sustainable Harvest, is happening this year in Panama, Oct. 9-12.

“Building a World Class Supply Chain” is the theme of this year’s event, which will include educational seminars, field trips to some of Southwestern Panama’s renowned Geisha-growing farms, and plenty of networking opportunities over food and drink. Home base for 2014 Let’s Talk Coffee will be the Westin Panama Playa Bonita Hotel outside Panama City.

(related: Zing: Robusta One-Liners from Some Serious Coffee Tasters)

The event is well-known for including numerous stakeholders in the coffee supply chain, focusing on issues affecting farmers, exporters importers and the specialty green market as a whole. For example, Sustainable Harvest Co-Founder David Griswold kicked off last year’s event in El Salvador by posing the question, “Is the Coffee Business Broken?” Here’s more from the Sustainable Harvest team on what Let’s Talk Coffee is all about:

Let’s Talk Coffee unites coffee growers, roasters, financiers, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders for an inclusive, collaborative event in which pressing industry issues are discussed and vital relationships are forged and strengthened.

Pete Licata, Michael Boyd and Stephen Vick coffee

Pete Licata, Michael Boyd and Stephen Vick at Let’s Talk Coffee 2013.

This year’s curriculum will include: A panel discussion with high-end retailers led by Oliver Strand of the New York Times; a presentation from Carlos Brando of P&A International Marketing on processing methods and the current weather-related market volatility affecting the Brazilian crop; a report on the coffee market from Leslie Josephs of the Wall Street Journal; a session called “Let’s Talk Processing” featuring numerous stakeholder’s in Sustainable Harvest’s supply chain; and an update on some of the work being done to combat coffee rust (la roya) in Central America since last year’s “Let’s Talk Roya” event.

(related: Sustainable Harvest Kicks Off Rwanda Initiative with Let’s Talk Coffee Offshoot)

The entire second morning of the event will focus on the Geisha variety, with author Hanna Neuschwander leading a panel discussion with representatives of producers including La Esmeralda and Finca La Mula. The final day of the event will include field trips to those two farms, as well as to Finca Rio Cristal, Finca Sofia, Finca Callejon Seco, and Finca Elida. Says Sustainable Harvest, “Each trip will provide visitors with a detailed look at the ins and out of coffee farming at an elite level.”

Registration cost for the event is $2,250, with a $250 Early Bird Discount before July 31.


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