The Coffee Diversification Project
By Rose Cohen
The international market price for coffee has dropped to less than $1/lb—the lowest price since 2006. The 24 million coffee farmers around the world cannot cover their costs of living, much less the cost of production at this price. In addition to volatile markets, farmers confront the volatility
CAN is featured as one of seven case studies of agroecological transition around the world.
Growing Justice (GJ), a diverse group of 12-19 year olds from Watsonville, California, meets weekly to learn about the food system and identify what they like about their community, and what they would like to see change. The team’s origins are rooted in the community gardens of Mesa Verde Gardens, and their lived experiences as children
August 28-30 Linda Lonquist, CAN’s project manager for CASSA, traveled to Mexico City to join more than 400 attendees at the 4th biannual W.K. Kellogg Foundation conference for the Foundation’s Mexican grantees. (CASSA was a 2-year Learning Community facilitated by CAN and its network partner, ECOSUR.) In addition to the
A Story About Human Dignity in the Face of Economic Poverty.
CAN has partnered with Grow Ahead, to invest in the future of farming. Please join us! Help us fund a farmer exchange where 70 collaborators will identify promising practices for broader implementation and implement learnings on identifying the effectiveness of diversification strategies. Farmers will be
CAN-affiliated researchers (at ECOSUR) involved in the Learning Community for Food Security and Sovereignty (CASSA) project published an article, “Bringing agroecology to scale: key drivers and emblematic cases,” in the March issue of the journal Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.
Agroecology as a transformative movement has gained momentum in many countries worldwide. In
Carmen J. Cortez, CAN’s new Associate Director, has joined CAN’s staff in Santa Cruz, California. Prior to joining CAN, Carmen facilitated the development of COO-PERA, a worker-owned fruit and vegetable cooperative, and co-developed the organizational infrastructure to create a community land trust and cooperative incubation program for the
Madeleine Clare Moore 1988-2015
Maddy was the student coordinator of Intercambio in 2011
and served as an integral part of CAN and FoCAN during her years at UC Santa Cruz.
During CAN’s 2017 Intercambio, held at UC Santa Cruz, the Moore family donated a beautiful mosaic table and benches as a memorial for their daughter/sister/friend,
Community Agroecology Network staff, Friends of CAN, and Growing Justice youth had a great night sharing stories and pictures with the Santa Cruz community. A special thank you to Judy Ziegler from Cornucopia Real Estate for hosting CAN!
Hoots of laughter made the Agroecology Treasure Hunt the loudest session at CASSA’s third Encuentro in April. Perhaps coincidentally, it was also the session with the most hands-on action outdoors. CAN affiliated researcher Bruce Ferguson, a professor at ECOSUR whose research is focused on mainstreaming agroecology, set up this session to give the CASSA participants
The CAN Associate Director position will work closely with the CAN team and our partner organizations to build the organization, further develop the network and promote CAN’s mission and programs. The ideal candidate will possess a range of skills in fundraising, program management, and participatory community development.
In the small coffee-growing community of Piedra Parada, tucked into the highlands of Veracruz, Mexico, a small group of business women are engrossed in decision making: what business do they want to start; which skills do they need to learn; and what are they going to do with the funds they have from their other
CAN is proud to announce that Ashley Solis-Pavon was selected by the local community as the 2017 Santa Cruz NEXTies “Person under 18.”
New publication by CAN and Agroecology & Livelihoods Collaborative in Special Issue of Sustainability — Agroecology at the Crossroads: Challenges for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
The documentary film, “Ending Seasonal Hunger in Nicaragua” explores food cultures, agroecological farming practices, and innovative solutions to improve diets and reduce seasonal hunger among smallholder coffee farming families in northern Nicaragua. It captures breathtaking tropical landscapes and the daily rhythms of rural life connected to Nicaragua’s rich history of struggle and solidarity. The film highlights
The Learning Community for Building Food Sovereignty project, “CASSA,” funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is in full swing. The aim of this two-year project (2016–2018) based in southern Mexico is to promote food security and food sovereignty in Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula. CAN and its network partner El Colegio de la Frontera
The Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC)* at the University of Vermont (UVM), in partnership with the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), announce the 2017 International Agroecology Shortcourse. The course theme is: Pathways to Resilience: An Agroecological Approach. This year’s shortcourse will
In October 2016, CAN co-founders and board members Steve Gliessman and Robbie Jaffe traveled to Mozambique to take part in the 17th Annual Agroecology Shortcourse. This training
A photo taken of the Growing Justice project by Suraya Arslan, CAN’s Executive and Programs Coordinator, is one of the winners of the Johns Hopkins University Food Policy Networks 2nd annual photo contest.
The photo contest challenged the public to show what food policy looks like in action. One photo could be submitted in each of
Discover how we’ve been working to end hunger and build food sovereignty among small farmers in Mexico and Central America.
Our 2014-2015 annual report looks at six strategies that guide our work in ending hunger among small farmers and introduces three new projects. Please read and join us in supporting rural women, men,
In December, CAN Executive Director Roseann Cohen, Associate Director Heather Putnam and Project Manager Maria Eugenia Flores traveled with executive team members of the coffee company Keurig Green Mountain (KGM) to visit CAN’s Food Security in Las Segovias Project in Northern Nicaragua. The group traveled two and a half hours from the hot and humid
Seedbanks and farmer-led experimentation enhance local food sovereignty and climate change resiliency in rural Nicaragua.
Seedbanks are important reservoirs of genetic diversity that help subsistance farming communities secure their supply of quality, locally-adapted seed. This in turn means that they do not depend on imported seed–often genetically modified–and they can assure their own food supply in
In November, CAN Executive Director Roseann Cohen and Associate Director Heather Putnam traveled to San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico to launch a new project with partner organization El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR). The project, which is financed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, will be organized as a 2-year course. It aims to
In October, Heather Putnam, CAN’s Associate Director, visited CAN’s partner organization the UCA San Ramón.
The first thing I noticed upon arriving to the northern department of Matagalpa was how hot and dry it was – typically, October is the height of the rainy season and can be quite cool up in the mountains. I
In October, I visited the two first level cooperatives that produce CAN’s AgroEco® Nicaragua Coffee, and meet with the cooperatives and women’s groups participating in AgroEco®. I came away from my visit to the cooperative in La Pita with a sense of hope and also a mandate for more action.
The cooperative, like all coffee farmers
Sophia Bassett applied skills that she learned in the Everett Program at UC Santa Cruz when she worked with students in Watsonville, California to produce food access maps. Her update follows.
Rome, Italy. The group of world-wide experts on sustainable food systems (IPES-Food) held their 4th meeting in Rome, Italy October 16-17 in conjunction with the FAO Committee on Food Security meeting and World Food Day. More than 24 members of IPES-Food gathered including CAN’s Board Chair, Steve Gliessman and two new members: CAN-affiliated
In 2014, the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) founded the Partnership for Gender Equity. The objective of this strategic initiative is to illuminate how gender inequality at origin impacts coffee outcomes and the well-being of producers and to figure out how to respond. The CQI has just released an executive summary that includes key research findings,
On September 29, 2015, at the 4th International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4) in Geneva, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International released Replacing Chemicals with Biology: Phasing out highly hazardous pesticides with agroecology. This new PAN book was written to address the concerns of policy makers around the world who are faced with the need
AgroEco® Coffee bags have a new look this Fall! It’s the same delicious coffee with a fresh, new look! The red label is for coffee from Nicaragua; the blue label is for coffee from Mexico.
Along with the new labels, we have a new poster that shows how your purchase of AgroEco® Coffee
Check out Lucas Oliver Oswald’s article (August 12, 2015) in Grist: “Can we level the playing field for coffee growers?” Oswald does an analysis about the changing coffee industry and the rise of direct trade. CAN affiliated researcher Dr. Christopher Bacon (Santa Clara University) was interviewed for the article and raised caution about direct trade. Read
Celebrate Agroecology at UC Santa Cruz and Around the World
Friday July 17, 2015
Cowell Ranch Hay Barn
UC Santa Cruz Campus (near main entrance)
Santa Cruz, California
Agroecology World Fair Day takes place during the 16th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse. Participate http://nosubhealth.com/ in an exchange among course participants,
In early June, CAN Executive Director Rose Cohen and Associate Director Heather Putnam traveled to the Central Highlands of Veracruz, Mexico to meet with CAN network partners there and visit rural coffee-growing communities where CAN is working to promote food security and sovereignty in addition to women’s and youth economic empowerment. Heather filed this report:
Inspired by Steve Gliessman and Mark Bittman debating the merits of the term “agroecology” during Steve’s Edible 101 presentation, Maywa Montenegro (food systems researcher, UC Berkeley) wrote an essay published today in Ensia Magazine. The essay, co-published by Ensia Magazine and Food Tank, looks at “agroeocology as a cross-pollination of knowledge, grounded in science,
CAN Associate Director Heather Putnam recently visited the Zona Maya in Quintana Roo, Mexico to meet with women’s groups working with CAN and the Intercultural Maya University of Quintana Roo (UIMQRoo) to improve household food security and sovereignty in a two year project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Here is her report
April 13-19, 2015: Nicaragua
The first internal capacity building exchange of CAN’s network this year took place the week of April 13-19, 2015. More than 25 women and youth leaders from CAN’s partner organizations VIDA AC in Veracruz, Mexico, PRODECOOP and CII-ASDENIC in Las Segovias, Nicaragua, and the UCA San Ramón in San Ramón, Nicaragua joined
Community Agroecology Network’s (CAN) Food Security & Sovereignty in Las Segovias, Nicaragua project was selected as a finalist for the 2015 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Sustainability Award. Roseann Cohen, executive director of CAN, Maria Eugenia Flores, project manager, Christopher Bacon, CAN affiliated researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences
FoCAN makes an invaluable contribution to Intercambio, CAN’s international youth exchange. In a blog posted on the FoCAN website, Jessica Arciga shares her experience as an Intercambio 20015 intern.
Intercambio was wonderful week spent among 17 youth exchanges from Veracruz & Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico and Esteli & San Ramon, Nicaragua. The week was full of activities
On Monday, March 30, CAN’s Board President and co-founder Steve Gliessman gave a lecture as part of this year’s Edible Education 101. Steve gave an overview of agroecology, using CAN’s work as an example. There were more than 200 people in attendance. After the lecture, Steve and Mark Bittman, co-host of Edible Education 101, continued
WhyHunger has released its first agroecology publication, “Agroecology: Putting Food Sovereignty into Action.” The publication shares the knowledge and perspectives of 10 social movement leaders who are working to “scale up” agroecology around the world. It also highlights the social, political, cultural, nutritional and spiritual meanings of agroecology from within communities that
“Sustainable Farming through Agroecology” with Stephen Gliessman and Mark Bittman
CAN Board President and co-founder Stephen Gliessman is giving a lecture on March 30 for the online course, Edible Education 101. This course was “created in conjunction with the 40th anniversary celebration of Chez Panisse Restaurant and Café in Berkeley, California. Alice
CAN Executive Director Roseann Cohen and Associate Director Heather Putnam traveled to Vermont to participate in a workshop that held from January 8-10, 2015. The workshop brought together three groups who have a vested interest and experience in working with small holder coffee producers in Latin America: direct and fair trade coffee roasters; non-profit organizations;
La Via Campesina has published the Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology on its website. The Declaration was produced by delegates from diverse organizations and international movements of small-scale food producers. The delegates gathered at the Nyéléni Center in Sélingué, Mali from February 24-27, 2015, “to come to a
Global Justice Now, a social justice organization based in London, England, has just published a report that says “…small-scale farmers are the key to addressing food issues across African countries.” The report From the Roots Up : how agroecology can feed Africa discusses agroecology projects in Tanzania, Cameroon, Uganda, and
“FAO held the International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition at its headquarters in Rome on September 18 and 19, 2014. Approximately 400 people from 61 different countries (including Permanent Representatives and staff members of representations, FAO / IFAD / WFP staff members, their
The February issue of the UC Santa Cruz Sustainability Office features an interview with Adriana Murguia, Friends of CAN’s (FoCAN’s) Intercambio Event Coordinator. Adriana discusses how her work supports sustainability efforts. Click here to read the interview and here to learn more about CAN’s 2015 Intercambio.
3 February 2015: The coffee leaf rust (la roya) has reached the Central Highlands of Veracruz, Mexico and small-scale coffee farming families are working to quickly respond to the blight before it further impacts their livelihoods. As the Mexican government promotes a host of new agrochemicals, CAN’s partner VIDA A.C. is steadfast in its promotion
CAN Board president Steve Gliessman (Professor Emeritus of Agroecology, UCSC) and CAN Executive Director Roseann Cohen head to Washington, D.C. to attend “Design for Resilience in Smallholder Farming Systems: Symposium and Consultation on Agroecological Principles, Design and Practice.” As keynote speaker, Steve will lay
CAN Associate Director Heather Putnam made a visit to our partner organization the Union of Cooperatives in San Ramón (UCA San Ramón), Nicaragua the first week of December. Our ongoing partnership with the UCA San Ramon is supporting 8 cooperatives to build community food sovereignty and sustainable local food systems. A principal challenge to this
Ben Valdez has been an active FoCAN student leader for the past two years and is currently completing a field study with CAN’s partner organization VIDA AC in the Central Highlands of Veracruz, Mexico. Here is his latest update from the field:
Greetings from Ixhuatlan de Café, Veracruz Mexico! My name is Benjamin Valdez,
Update from the Field
Suraya Arslan, CAN field intern
27 October 2014: The digital revolution has come late to Nicaragua. The country ranks last regionally and 114th globally in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development according to a 2013 report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Despite this late start, Nicaraguans have quickly embraced mobile devices
Help Us Turn $30,000 into $60,000!!
This year, generous contributions of $25,000 from the Crary Family Foundation and $5,000 from the Stocker Family Fund have increased our challenge grant to $30,000. Every dollar that you contribute will be matched up to $30,000. Please join us in supporting rural women and youth working toward a more just
CAN seeks to improve food security and sovereignty (FSS) in rural communities in Central America and Mexico. We promote a combination of strategies that aim to increase local availability and accessibility of diverse, nutritious foods, and improve the environment, but also to empower women as economic agents and providers in
Most of the world’s food insecure people live in marginal rural environments. A recent study with coffee producers in northern Nicaragua’s highlands helps explain this “hungry farmer paradox.” These small-scale farmers experienced an average of three months of seasonal hunger over the year studied. Although cash income helped alleviate food scarcity, households
STUDENT PROJECT: ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK 2010 | Collections from Near and Afar: Yucatán Peninsula
During Spring Break 2010, Patricia Fung, then a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), participated in CAN’s Alternative Spring Break program. She traveled to the Yucatán Peninsula with 11 students
ANNUAL REPORT: Year 4 — November 1, 2012 – October 30, 2013
Through the Food Security and Sovereignty in Las Segovias Project the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), in collaboration with our partner organization PRODECOOP, RL, aims to improve food security and reduce seasonal hunger among 1500 smallholder
CAN’s co-founder and chair of the Board of Directors, Dr. Stephen Gliessman, (Professor Emeritus of Agroecology, University of California, Santa Cruz) has been appointed to an international panel of experts on sustainable food systems. The panel is co-chaired by Dr. Olivia Yambi, nutritionist and former
Community Agroecology Network (CAN) has joined coffee importer Ético: The Ethical Trading Company (ÉTICO), the British NGO Social Business Network, local coffee roaster Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company, the Union of Cooperatives in San Ramón, Nicaragua (UCA SR), and the Denis Gutierrez coffee cooperative to recognize and include the unpaid work of
CAN’s 4th Annual Youth Exchange or Intercambio took place from May 15-23, 2014, in the coffee-growing highlands of Veracruz, México. The Youth Exchange brought 32 youth leaders together to share experiences and knowledge about building food sovereignty in their own communities. The majority of the youth are leaders or promotores from CAN’s Food Security and
Food and Agribusiness Institute hosts a food-security conversation with youth organizers visiting from Latin America. The youth are participants in CAN’s 3rd International Youth Exchange for Food Security & Sovereignty (April 8–16). Coffee Brewbar tasting with the youth organizers outside Sunstream Cafe from 2–3 pm. Agro®Eco Coffee provided by CAN.