Thank you to Pacific Barista Series for supporting the #ExpoWeekend Lectures!


During the lecture, the pilot version of the Sustainable Coffee Buyer’s Guide will be presented and discussed. The main purpose of the pilot version of the guide is to explore its feasibility and usefulness as a new approach to buying coffee.

The idea presented by the guide is to use income targets to drive the prices we pay as an industry in a more systematic way, which can be translated from growers all the way through to consumers. At the root of it is a shared desire to end the systematic impoverishment of small coffee farmers through an improved knowledge of their various circumstances.

The base of the guide contains a cost of production study which was conducted with specialty coffee producers in Quindio, Tolima, Southern Huila and Southwestern Nariño. The findings presented are thus derived from real farmers’ reported costs of production and yields, and are the result of case studies representative of a specific time, place and product.

Presented By:
Vera Espíndola Rafael - Development Economist, CHIHUA Consulting
Tyler Youngblood - CEO, Azahar Coffee Company
Ryan Knapp - Director of Coffee, Madcap Coffee
Geoff Watts - VP of Coffee, Intelligentsia
Thu, Apr 30, 2020 · 7:00 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (GMT -4:00)
Vera Espíndola Rafael
Development Economist, CHIHUA Consulting
In 2016, Vera started to work for the Mexican Secretary of Agriculture in the Plan for the Care of Coffee. She focused on harmonizing the elements of sustainable coffee production in the national coffee program. During this time, she formed part of the Mexican delegation for the ICO and the Mesoamerican program PROMECAFE.
Currently she continues to focus on creating strategies to improve the resilience of coffee farmers as a consultant for different sector actors as well as government.

Vera has a master’s degree in Development Economics and a bachelor’s in international business. Previously worked in the research arm at ANACAFE and subsequently as Regional Manager for Latin America at UTZ, now called Rainforest Alliance.

She is part of the Board of Directors of the SCA and currently is also Board member of the Coffee Science Foundation.
Tyler Youngblood
CEO, Azahar Coffee Company
Tyler Youngblood and his partners started Azahar Coffee Company, a Colombian exporter that also roasts and serves specialty coffee at its own cafés in Bogotá, while on a road trip through South America in 2010. Azahar currently works with some of the world's leading specialty roasters and importers under a model of transparency that takes quality and farmers' cost of production into account rather than the "C" price.
Ryan Knapp
Director of Coffee, Madcap Coffee
Ryan Knapp is the Director of Coffee and co-founder at Madcap Coffee. Ryan began working in Specialty Coffee in 2006 after a study abroad program in Uganda and Rwanda where he saw coffee’s global impact first hand. Today, Ryan is responsible for Madcap’s sourcing and QC program. He focuses his energy on the producing side of the supply chain with an emphasis on quality and sustainability. Ryan has served as Juror for the Cup of Excellence and is a 2 time North Central Regional Barista Champion. When not making, cupping or sourcing coffee you can find Ryan enjoying wine, cooking food and spending time outdoors with his family in Grand Rapids, MI.
Geoff Watts
VP of Coffee, Intelligentsia Coffee
Geoff has spent the last 25 years devoted to coffee development at its primary source, working collaborating with coffee producers around the world to build lasting partnership and engineer systems for uplifting quality. He has served as Board Chairman for both the Roasters Guild of America and The Alliance for Coffee Excellence and donated hundreds of hours over the past decade volunteering with coffee development programs in East Africa and South America. He loves coffee in all its forms almost as much as he loves music, which is to say: without bounds.