Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 124 of 135

David Griswold RELATIONSHIP-COFFEE PIONEER By Chris Ryan MASTER YOU WONÕT MEET MANY PEOPLE more inquisitive than David Griswold. Whether he's con- ducting brainstorming sessions at the offi ce, leading a panel onstage, or even just meeting someone for the fi rst time, David is constantly asking questions, listening to the answers, and striving to learn from the conversation. This quest for knowledge has largely driven David throughout his life: His college-professor parents urged him to take every educational op- portunity from a young age, leading him to travel the world via different programs. Through these travels he became fascinated first with journal- ism, then with international development, and eventually with social justice. While living in Mex- ico in the 1980s, he witnessed how disconnected smallholder coffee farmers were from knowledge of and access to global markets, which helped him discover his new professional focus: helping to change these circumstances for smallholders. David founded Sustainable Harvest Coffee Im- porters in 1997 with the defining business model of "relationship coffee," in which coffee growers and roasters have a direct relationship and can negotiate prices openly and transparently. He helped pioneer this model of sourcing, which has become increasingly commonplace in recent years as more and more roasting companies prioritize direct-trade relationships with their suppliers. At this year's Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seat- tle in April, David will receive the Coffee Quality Institute's (CQI) Leadership Medal of Merit for his accomplishments. On a typically gray January day in Portland, Ore., I sat down with David, now 55, at Sustainable Har- vest's headquarters to learn more about the journey that led him to relationship coffee. 125

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