On March 26 from 12:00 to 14:30, in the midst of a collective hangover from The Barista League the night before, we ran and recorded a special educational panel discussion hosted by local Kafferostare Per Nordby titled “Cracking Certifications” as a part of The Barista League: Gothenburg’s Sideline event series. Starting with the question, “why is talking about certifications so difficult?”, we brought together the voices of producers, certifying bodies, and green buyers to build a fuller picture of certification, from their aims to their achievements, as well as the considerations that producers and green buyers take into account when making decisions.
This week, we’re sharing the first half of “Cracking Certifications”, which focuses on the certifications themselves – Elisabet Lim (Fairtrade Sweden) and Marcus Scahefer (Rainforest Alliance) gave insight into how certifications work, their primary goals, and how the business of certification is structured. Joined later by Sara Morrocchi (Vuna Origin Consulting), Angel Mario Martinez-Garcia (Progreso Producer Development) and Joanna Alm (Drop Coffee), we examined certifications and trading models in the context of specialty coffee and its love affair with “direct trade” – is there only one way to be accountable, transparent, and sustainable, as our current conversations might have us believe? Or are there many paths to the same summit?