Reeve ‘Out and About:’ Reeve Consulting Visits Sustainable Coffee Plantation in Nicaragua

Selva Negra (Black Forest) Coffee is grown at 4,000 feet above sea level in the highlands of Northern Nicaragua. The estate has been producing fine Arabica coffee for over 100 years, with the tradition of shaded coffee which helps preserve the estate as virgin forest. At the farm they also operate a sustainable tourism venture that includes a resort, restaurant, coffee tour and grow vegetables and flowers for on-site consumption and commercial sale. In June, Kevin of Reeve Consulting visited Selva Negra to learn more about sustainable coffee and tourism.

Selva Negra is a privately owned farm that is not Fair Trade certified, since it is not a cooperatively owned and operated organization and is therefore not eligible for this certification. However, it does respect Fair Trade standards as well the Rainforest Alliance and Smithsonian Institute sustainable coffee standards. Their coffee currently holds the Rainforest Alliance “Eco-OK” label and, although not certified as “Bird Friendly,” the coffee plantations do fall into the ‘rustic’ and ‘traditional polyculture’ bird friendly shade gradient, the most bird friendly coffee plantation categories.

Quality social conditions are an important component in Selva Negra’s sustainability standards. The entire operation employs 400 individuals year-round and during the harvest season this number almost doubles with migrant workers. The quality of life of all the workers at Selva Negra appears to be quite comfortable and above average of many coffee estates. The employee’s benefits include:

• Housing
• Schooling
• On-site medical clinic
• Sponsored baseball teams and social events
• Skills training and conferences
• On-site convenience store

Selva Negra has been awarded the “Semper Virens” (Always Green) recognition in the International Ecological Summit in October 1995, and is a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America. They are also working with the Rainforest Alliance to meet sustainable tourism standards which address both environmental and social conditions.

Selva Negra currently sells their award winning coffee across North America and can be found in select Whole Foods grocery stores. Visit www.selvanegra.com to learn more.

Reeve ‘Out and About:’ Reeve Consulting Arrives in Montreal for the Symposium on Responsible Purchasing

Reeve Consulting is in Montreal to participate as a speaker and subject matter expert at the 2nd Symposium on Responsible Purchasing being held April 22 & 23, 2009. The Responsible Purchasing Symposium is a multi-stakeholder conference focusing on ethical purchasing and fair labour rights, sustainable supply chain practices and corporate responsibility. The first event held in Montreal in 2007 drew 200 international representatives from civil society, labour groups, NGOs, the legal profession, academics, cooperatives and institutional representatives. Check out the conference link at: www.ciso.qc.ca/colloquePAR09/programmation_en.html


Symposium organizers have assembled a high caliber group of speakers and participants. As an example, in our car travelling in from the airport was Joseph Breham a human rights lawyer from Paris. He told us about a recent settlement with one of the world’s largest uranium mining companies that will have really positive and wide ranging impacts for local communities and employees. I’m looking forward to meeting Heather White, founder of Verite, the non-profit social auditing, training organization that has been a leading source of capacity building for ethical sourcing in the last 15 years www.verite.org


After the main conference has concluded in Montreal a few of the international guests and Reeve will be taking a mini-version of the event on the road to speak in Chicoutimi (April 27) and finally in Quebec City on April 28 & 29. Our objective on this trip is to share our knowledge of best practices in ethical and sustainable purchasing and sustainable supply chain solutions by describing our experiences with clients like Vancouver 2010, the Sustainability Purchasing Network (SPN), Coast Hotels & Resorts, and the City of Calgary.

Reeve Consulting ‘Out and About’: World Conference on Sport and the Environment

On March 30th Reeve Consulting attended the World Conference on Sport and Environment which is organized every two years by the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations Environment Programme. The conference is designed to encourage strong social responsibility and reduce the impacts that sports events can have on the environment, particularly the Olympics.

This year the theme of the conference was ‘Innovation and Inspiration: Harnessing the Power of Sport for Change’. Reeve would like to note a few interesting points from the delegates of the conference:

Thomas Van Dyck, Senior Vice President – Financial Consultant, Senior Consulting Group RBC Wealth Management – SRI Wealth Management Group, USA delivered a compelling opening plenary presentation speaking to the critical importance of ethical and sustainable purchasing as a market mechanism to scale up a green and sustainability oriented economy.

Ann Duffy, Corporate Sustainability Officer, Vancouver 2010, and David Stubbs, Head of Environment and Sustainable Development, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG 2012) highlighted how purchasing is a central tenant of their overall strategies to advance zero waste, carbon neutral commitments and other sustainability priorities. Reeve worked closely with Vancouver 2010 on the development of their Buy Smart program and was happy to see this program being profiled in Ann’s presentation.

Hon. Gordon Campbell, Premier of the Province of British Columbia, was impressive as he highlighted the importance of investing in a green economy and that we need to act now on the issue of climate change. He painted an optimistic vision of how we can capitalize on investments in green technologies and infrastructure to build a stronger and more productive economy in BC and beyond. Reeve Consulting shares this vision and it’s great to hear the premier of BC showing leadership on an international platform.

The conference was a great opportunity to network with likeminded firms, organizations and individuals. A couple of our observations from the conference include:

  • sport management professionals and other major event representatives at the conference are clearly hungry for details on sustainable purchasing
  • many we spoke with were looking for more tangible examples of actual program implementation / challenges and success
  • many sessions were struggling to get started and finished on time as there was a thirst for networking and folks    were keen to continue conversations outside of the sessions
  • some question periods were quite limited, which in some cases, stifled some potentially interesting discussions
  • hopefully day two will begin really start to unpeel the implementation onion and move from discussion of plans and management systems to actual results

Reeve ‘Out and About’: The Sustainable Sport and Event Toolkit Workshop

Reeve participated this past Sunday, March 29th, in the Sustainable Sport and Event Toolkit (SSET) Workshop organized by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (VANOC) and the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology (AISTS) as a pre-conference activity to the 8th World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Vancouver.

As a legacy of the 2010 Games, VANOC has been working with AISTS, the International Olympic Committee and other global sport organizations to create an easy-to-use web-based toolkit designed to help sport event organizers manage their footprint. This workshop was organized to provide understanding of the toolkit’s resources and website, and listen to first-hand stories from athletes and sport organizations currently involved in testing the toolkit.

The toolkit has eight chapters that will guide the user in creating sustainable sport and event strategies.  Chapter 5 focuses on how to involve the community and engage in Ethical and Sustainable Purchasing to support sustainable sport event commitments.  An innovative feature of the toolkit is the web-based SSET Wiki, which is an interactive platform that allows users of the toolkit to login and share best practices, ideas, statistics, stories and general comments and feedback.  The SSET Wiki also provides resources and tools that are linked directly to goals and objectives in the toolkit.

The workshop presented a wealth of information on how Ethical and Sustainable Purchasing can be leveraged by sports organizations to meet their overall sustainability commitments.  For example, VANOC shared some success stories of their Buy Smart Program, which was designed, with support from Reeve Consulting, to ensure that sustainability, ethical choices and Aboriginal participation are taken into account within procurement and licensing activities.  London 2012, Speed Skating Canada, and the International Cycling Union also recognized the role of Ethical and Sustainable Purchasing in achieving sustainability objectives of sporting events.

Reeve sees the SSET as an important step in ensuring the sustainability of future large-scale games and is excited to support the enhancement of this tool through the interactive wiki web platform.  The SSET will help to embed Ethical and Sustainable Purchasing in future games and Reeve Consulting looks forward to participating in the application of this innovative toolkit.

Reeve ‘Out and About’: Bridging The Gap with Engineers Without Borders

Reeve Consulting participated in two panel discussions this past weekend as part of this year’s Bridging The Gap conference presented by Engineers Without Borders (EWB).

Held March 14th at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, ‘Bridging The Gap’ explored how the collaborative actions of individuals, corporations, NGOs, and government can impact extreme poverty. With the theme “Collaborating for Human Development – the hidden power of our choices,” professional and student delegates examined the influence of their actions at home, on the development field, in parliament and in boardrooms.

The day was full of discussion, debate, collaboration, and learning. Workshops and sessions were led by an engaging line-up of speakers such as Parker Mitchell, co-founder of EWB and Dr. James Orbinski, president of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and Nobel Laureate. Kevin McCarty, who joined Reeve Consulting in October 2009, participated in the following panel discussions:

Fair Trade: The Story, presented the history and key principles of Fair Trade, as well as the unique firsthand Fair Trade experiences of the panellists. Kevin shared his experience working in Bolivia with two micro-finance organizations, where he examined the Fair Trade certification process from the producer’s perspective. He was accompanied by fellow panellists Lloyd Bernhardt of Ethical Bean and Karla Bloomfield, Fair Trade Textile Market Researcher and Capacity Builder.

The Power of Purchase: Ethical Decision Making by Consumers Like You, illustrated the common consumer’s ability to create equality and promote human development through purchasing decisions. Kevin, who was accompanied by Mel Phadtare of Junxion Strategy Inc., presented the difference between ethical, fair trade, social and green purchasing and demonstrated how ethical purchasing, in particular, helps to ensure human rights are respected throughout the supply chain.

Reeve Consulting would like to thank EWB for inviting Kevin to participate in this year’s Bridging The Gap conference and would like to recognize all the hard work that the EWB team of volunteers put into this year’s event. It was a great success, keep up the good work!