Tuesday, October 10

6pm                 Optional pre-conference meetup and badge

                         pickup at Hotel Adriatika 


Wednesday, October 11

Location: Anacafé , Guatemala City

8am               Registration & Coffee

8:30am          Welcome & Opening by SCA and Anacafe

Speaker: Kim Elena Ionescu, Chief Sustainability Officer, SCA
Welcome by Ricardo Arenas

The audience will be introduced to the Sustainability Center of the SCA and the objectives for Avance.

9:15am          Welcome to Guatemala and the Offices of its National Coffee Association

9:30am          Profitability: Furthering the Resolutions of the First World Coffee Producer Forum

Speaker: René Leon Gomez, Promecafe

The declaration from the first World Coffee Producer Forum held in Colombia in July 2017 includes the statement that “if corrective actions aiming to address [farm profitability and the share of coffee’s value that reaches farmers] in a coordinated way are not undertaken and their financing is not guaranteed, in the medium term the world may face a crisis characterized by a structural reduction of the global coffee supply, with the consequent impacts on quality of life of producers and their regions’ social stability, while global demand will continue growing without being met, which will generate undesirable imbalances in the coffee market that may put sustainability of the global chain at risk.” What do we know about key factors influencing farmer profitability, and what gaps remain? What is the relationship between coffee quality and farm profitability, if any?

10am             Profitability: Beyond Costs of Production

Speaker: Michael Sheridan, Intelligentsia Coffee

Just as many coffee buyers struggle to understand the costs of produce coffee and the obstacles to profitability that farmers face, most coffee farmers remain baffled by the relationship between the prices they receive for a pound of green coffee and the prices they see specialty coffee retailers charging per cup. Where does the money go? 

10:30am        Profitability Panel Discussion

Moderator: Vera Espindola, SAGARPA
Michael Sheridan, Intelligentsia
Rene León, Promecafe
Juan Luis Barrios, Finca La Merced
Carlos Reynoso, Manos Campesinas

11:15am        Coffee Break

11:45am        Farm Workers: Alternate Futures for the Coffee Industry

Speaker: Angela Pelaez, RGC Coffee

Over the past three years, the specialty coffee industry has begun to publicly recognize the need to include farm workers – our largest but historically least empowered group – in the growth and prosperity of the specialty coffee industry. The labor of farm workers is fundamental to the entire coffee value chain (to say nothing of its role in determining cup quality), and ignoring the challenges inherent to labor in agricultural production will have legal and reputational consequences as well as threatening supply. Conversely, our historical lack of awareness makes this subject one of the sustainability areas with the most opportunity for innovation, and we will explore some of the approaches and projects underway.    

12:15pm        Farm Worker Panel Discussion

Moderator: Michael Sheridan, Intelligentsia
Brandie Sasser, US Department of Labor
Colleen Popkin, Keurig Green Mountain
Marlene Mazariegos, Cámara del Agro

1pm               Lunch

2pm               Climate Change: Adapting to a New Norm

Speaker: Iris Alvarado, Capucas

Most discussions of climate change in the specialty coffee industry focus on potential long-term outcomes, and with good reason – the picture is sobering. But climate change isn’t just going to affect coffee, it is affecting coffee already, and ironically, most of the techniques farmers learn to help them cope with unusual weather patterns are rigid and (as opposed to flexible and adaptive). What does resilience look like when its built on a foundation of unpredictability? Can strong relationships between buyers and suppliers – a tenet of specialty coffee – help create stability? 

2:30pm          Climate Change: Reconciling Global and Local Actions

Speaker: Michelle Deugd, Rainforest Alliance

How does an organization set global standards while recognizing the differences between landscapes and cultures? What works in one place may not work everywhere, so geographic specificity is critical to the adoption of climate smart agricultural practices, but better data comes at a cost. How do we know what we need and how to pay for it? And who benefits from the dissemination of this information?

3:00pm          Climate Change Panel Discussion

Moderator: Molly Laverty, Farmer Brothers
Michelle Deugd, Rainforest Alliance
Omar Rodriguez, Capucas
Meredith Taylor, Counter Culture Coffee
Margarita Chojolan, Catholic Relief Services

3:45pm          Coffee Break

6pm           Appetizers & Dinner at Clios Food Craft - Sponsored by Utz

6A. Avenida 15-65 Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala


Thursday, October 12

Location: Anacafé , Guatemala City

8:00am          Coffee

8:30amTopics in Context: Interview with Anacafe

The sustainability topics explored at Avance were chosen for their global relevance, but every region, country, landscape, and community has unique experiences. Being in Guatemala and at Anacafe’s offices enables to explore in detail the opportunities and challenges facing the Guatemalan coffee sector as it pursues sustainability and supports its diverse constituencies.

Gerardo Flores and Chad Trewick, Anacafe


9:00am          Review of Day 1 Activity

9:30am          Separation into Working Groups

Participants will break into groups to focus on one of the three themes discussed on Day 1. These facilitated workshops will include some combination of the following: development of individual and collaborative action plans, identification of knowledge gaps and research needs, role-playing exercises, and others.

11:00am        Coffee Break

11:30am        Return to Working Groups

1:00pm          Lunch   

2:00pm          Recommendations from Working Groups

3:00pm          Conclusions and Next Steps

4:00pm          Closing