The Supply Chain of Coffee

When I was very young my grandparents taught us to dip cookies in coffee instead of milk.  Since then I have become a huge fan of coffee, but I never take time to think about the supply chain of coffee.  Our trip to Costa Rica included a visit to Café Britt, which allowed me to learn so much about my daily drink of choice.

For more than 28 years Café Britt has sourced, roasted and shipped the finest gourmet coffees directly from Costa RicaPeru and Colombia, keeping a strong relationship with farmers and Fair Trade practices.  The slideshow below includes highlights from our visit:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Student Spotlight: Stephen Sumpter

Before Duquesne: Steve recently spent time in Ethiopia as a US Peace Corps volunteer.  Steve has also shared his love for music and business in Spring Grove School District and South Western School District. For his undergraduate degree, Steve attended Westminster College where he majored in business administration and music.

Why Duquesne:I choose the MBA Sustainability program because it is a more environmental and people focused program than many other MBA programs.  Additionally, I knew I wanted to be in Pittsburgh and Duquesne has the best peace corps fellowship in the city.

Beyond Duquesne: After graduation, Steve is interested in project management, specifically in the areas of supply chain or sustainability.  Also, Steve is interested in becoming a small business owner leveraging his passion for coffee and MBA toolkit.



Summer Study Trip – Central America

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 11.09.39 PMSince our cohort began the MBA Sustainability program in August, we have been chomping at the bit to find out where we would be going on our summer study trip. Last week, Diane Ramos announced to the cohort that we would be traveling to Central America.  Specifically, we will be heading to Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Our schedule is jam-packed with a variety of learning experiences in both locations; however, in Costa Rica we will be focusing on the following projects:

In Guatemala we will be taking part in field-work on the potable water challenge in Guatemala with EcoFiltro & USAID.  Of course, our trips involve a variety of other learning experiences, with time to engage in the cultures of the countries.  Our cohort is extremely excited to tackle the live learning in Central America!

Net Impact + Building New Hope

A few weeks ago, Net Impact partnered up with Building New Hope for a fair trade week fundraiser.  Led by Steve Sumpter, Net Impact members sold Building New Hope’s coffee, also available at Whole Foods, in the Duquesne Union as part of the fair trade vendor market.

Fair trade is a social movement that helps producers in developing countries to create better trading conditions and promote sustainability.  Fair trade advocates for higher social and environmental standards.

Building New Hope, located in Pittsburgh, Pa., has created a coffee project that goes beyond fair trade and takes part in direct trade.  The organization works with communities in Nicaragua and El Salvador to foster economic development, education opportunities, and other community development.  Coffee is sold to raise money for continued operations and has cultivated a relationship with the employee owned farm “El Porvenir” in Nicaragua.  The farm supports 48 families, receives a price above the fair trade price, and allows reinvestment in the community.

Our Net Impact members were happy to sell this coffee during fair trade week, and educate students, faculty, and other shoppers on the mission of Building New Hope.

For more on Building New Hope, visit their website: