Sourcing Coffee

Coffee farms probably have the most sourcing related issues relative to any other member of the coffee supply chain.  The farm owner/operator is responsible for sourcing the coffee plants, the labor to harvest the coffee cherries, the packaging to store them during transport (if any) and the means to transport them.  In my experience here…

Cooperatives in Coffee

Operating a cooperative as opposed to a traditional company has benefits and drawbacks. In this case the coffee collective operates as a group of coffee farmers supplying coffee to a single producer who sells it under a single brand.  Also the cooperative is owned by the farmers that make it up. This means that the…

Local vs. Exported Coffee

Coffee has been the staple cash crop of Costa Rica for decades. It’s production in the country began in the early 19th century and has only increased since then.  Until about the 1980’s Costa Rican coffee was sold at low prices as a raw material. About 20 years ago the country began marketing coffee and…

Gringos in the Cloud forest

The first quaker settlers moved to the Monteverde area to escape the increasing militarism of the United States.  When they chose the area of Monteverde they did so because the location was good for farming, had a more friendly climate and had fewer bugs. However, when they arrived in the cloud forests they quickly began…

A Day in the Life of a Tico Farmer

Farmers like Don Guillermo appears to live a modest life of hard work.  Costa Rican farms seem to mostly be family business so many farmers have been doing it their whole lives and have been raising their children in the industry. Guillermo runs a farm that specializes in producing coffee and largely sells unroasted green…

New Perspectives

Before coming to Costa Rica, I envisioned the country as largely undeveloped with most of the nation being rural or forested areas with small towns. This idea became more cemented in my mind when I learned about the country’s sustainability efforts. When we arrived in Heredia my opinion began to change, I saw just how…

Exploring San Jose

As San Jose grew as a city it grew around the coffee and banana industries.  Because of this the city was built with a layout that made it easier to export these products around the country and to the coast where they would be sent around the world.  Evidence of this is that the train…

Comparing Costa Rican Coffees

The largest and most valuable customers to Costa Rican coffee manufacturers are in Europe and the United States, therefore, when companies such as Cafe Britt and Doka produce coffee the best product is sent to these countries and the less desirable coffee is sold in the smaller market of Costa Rica.  This is one reason…

Driving Forces of Costa Rican Culture

Being such a small country Costa Rica does not need a very large government. Why then do elected officials continue to try to expand it? Whether it is better to shrink or expand the government is not an issue that is not unique to Costa Rica, it is a frequent topic of debate in the…

Discovering Heredia

Upon arriving in Heredia some aspects of the area met my expectations while others differed slightly.  I expected the residential living to be separated more into neighborhoods of houses like it is done in the United States, however, the living arrangements seem to be separated into rows of stacked apartments. Outside the front door of…

Costa Rican Sustainability

Costa Rica is ranked as one of the most ecologically sustainable countries in the world, largely because of their environmental initiatives. One of these initiatives is increasing the use of renewable energy through hydropower, geothermal power, and wind and solar power. Thanks to this Costa Rica’s electricity is almost complete carbon neutral.  However, pollution still…

Meet Plus3 Costa Rica 2018!

Welcome to the Costa Rica Plus3 Study Abroad Program! Professor Ryan Teeter and Laura Caroll, Academic Advisor, are traveling to the Costa Rican Central Valley, Monteverde, and Tarrazu with 24 College of Business Administration and Swanson School of Engineering students from May 5 – May 19. In addition to numerous cultural experiences, the trip will…