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Williams College to Honor Dean Cycon with Medal

Dean Cycon, founder of the fair trade coffee company Dean’s Beans and author of Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee will be presented with one of six of the college’s prestigious Bicentennial Medals on Saturday, September 6 at their annual Convocation ceremony.
Established in 1993 on the occasion of the college’s 200th anniversary, Bicentennial Medals honor members of the Williams community for distinguished achievement in any field of endeavor.
Our heartiest congratulations go to Dean. As Bill Harris, president of Cooperative Coffees said, “He was fair trade before fair trade was cool.”
Fifteen years ago, Dean Cycon formed the company Dean’s Beans as a model of how a commodity could be grown, processed, and sold in ways that are environmentally sensitive, economically fair, and return a profit. He buys organically grown beans from farmer cooperatives throughout the world and roasts them in the company’s facility in Orange, Mass. Profits are shared with the farmers and company employees and are invested in community development projects in the farmer’s regions. He also pressures coffee chains to increase the percentage of their offerings that have been produced in ways that are environmentally and socially responsible. The company has received Best Practices Recognition from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and a Sustainability Award from the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Read the whole story here.


Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Pancake

When most people think pancakes, they think breakfast. But for Amy Halloran, breakfast is only the start.Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, is a self-described pancake connoisseur. From a young age, she was entranced by the magic of bubbly batter rising to fluffy cakes on the griddle. Over time, her love of pancakes developed […] Read More..

Inside the Rise of the Local Grains Movement

Our daily bread. Breaking bread together. Bread and butter. These are all common phrases that reflect bread’s foundational role in our diet and in the building of our civilization. The stored energy of grain first allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering to building settled communities—even great cities. So why in an […] Read More..

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..