On a coffee farm in Colombia, 2012. Many farmers intersperse plantains, beans, yuca, and other trees producing subsistence foodstuffs with their coffee, providing both shade and supporting income diversity.
Visiting a cocoa production focused technical high school in Ecuador, 2013. With the lack of high quality cocoa in the market and the increasing demand, particularly from European countries, including Switzerland, some schools are preparing the next generation of farmers to fill the gap.
A cattle ranch in northern Mexico, 2013.
A cattle ranch in northern Mexico, 2013.
Cacao plantation in Ecuador. Newer plantations and younger cacao trees are easier to maintain and harvest, but lack the biodiversity of more traditional cultivations.
A plantation of young cacao trees in Ecuador, 2013.
Bags of cacao in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 2013.
A coffee tree featuring a heavy load of not-yet-ripe cherries, Colombia, 2013.
Certification schemes do not always represent a comprehensive solution. Farmers and farm managers are encouraged to plant trees in order to comply with the stipulations of the certification, but often this becomes a practice of checking something off a list. While certainly better than no trees at all, this is not a long-term solution for improving the health of the planet or farmers' livelihoods.
Disease resistant plantlet varietals distributed by the FNC and financed by the Nestcafé Plan, Colombia, 2013.
An elderly Colombian farmer, 2013. The lack of pension funds for older farmers result in many being forced to work until they die. Not only is this an incredible hardship, but it prevents the next generation of farmers from being able to take leadership.
Young coffee plantations, Colombia, 2013.
Disease resistant coffee plantlets waiting to be planted, Colombia, 2013.
Coffee trees. The FNC encourages farmers only to harvest cherries when perfectly ripe. Increasingly unpredictable weather has resulted in coffee cherries ripening all through the year, and farmers having to harvest, themselves or by paying workers, multiple times. This is one way in which climate change has already increased the financial strain on coffee producers.
A huge coffee plantlet nursery financed by the Nescafé Plan Colombia, 2013.
The plantlet nursery.
A cacao buyer, approved by Nestlé as an intermediary aligned with the ethical business principles of the Cocoa Plan, standing in front of his point of purchase, Ecuador, 2013.
Dry cacao being assessed in Guayaquil, 2013.
Me talking to a local television station in Ecuador about social challenges producers face, 2013.
A Colombian coffee farmer bringing plantains to a friend who owned a business in Sevilla, 2013.
A Colombian coffee farmer sharing his knowledge about sustainable coffee farming with a younger farmer, 2013.
A home in disrepair, Colombia, 2013.
The elderly wife of a coffee farmer, 2013. Women, also, rarely get the change to rest as they grow older.
Traditional architecture and town center in la zona cafetera (often talked about in English as the coffee triangle), Colombia, 2013. Parts of la zona cafetera have been recognized by UNESCO.
Recently harvested cacao undergoes the fermentation process, Ecuador, 2013.
Cacao fermenting, Ecuador, 2013.
Cacao, Ecuador, 2013. The fruit has a sweet, pleasant flavor when ripe.
Me with a cacao growers cooperative in Ecuador, 2013.
A female cacao farmers gives me a tour of her farm, Ecuador, 2013.
A cacao farmer (right) shows me he and his wife's garden, Ecuador, 2013.
A wet mill for processing coffee, Colombia, 2013. Many Colombian producers have wet mills in their farms.
The members of a coffee-growing vereda (small community) in Colombia, 2013. These producers grow high-quality coffee for Nespresso.
A young farmer over breakfast. In 2012 and 2013, during my doctoral research, I stayed with this family.
At a meeting focused on water projects that were part of local Creating Shared Value initiatives instigated by Nestlé, Ecuador, 2013.
The inside of a cacao point of purchase, Ecuador, 2013.
The inside of a cacao exporter, Ecuador, 2013.
Oranges going to waste, Ecuador, 2013.
A cacao farm, Ecuador, 2013.
Bags of cacao, Ecuador, 2013.
View of a cacao-producing part of Ecuador, 2013.
A farmer next to his drying cacao, 2013, Ecuador.
Me with a cacao farmer (and her goat), Ecuador, 2013.