March 16, 2012

“Haiti can produce the finest coffee in the world. As a brand. Interns should come to study the re-birth of an industry, but also the re-birth of an art, not unlike the first bottles of Champagne produced after the war.”

By Flip Holsinger In coffee, haiti, Haitian coffee, haitian coffee beans

What Harry Richard Quadracci said… about the resurrection of the Max Vieux family coffee plantation and community coffee cooperative… about the expectation of only the finest and most committed university volunteers (no tree-hugging do-gooders)… about the expectation for greatness…

“We have here an opportunity.”

“Not an opportunity to install toilets in Upper Volta.”

“But an opportunity to take the land, talent, markets, environment and engineer the most modern solution of a coffee operation hands down world wide.”

“I see in accidentally inheriting the oversight of the operations of the Vieux coffee fields as nothing less than inheriting the oversight of the operations of the Robert Mondavi vineyards in California.”

“We appear to be given the chance to ask for exactly what we need to make the finest coffee in the world.”

“It just so happens that the finest coffee in the world will come from the Vieux fields, with Vieux talent and experience, with workers trained and loyal to the Vieux family, in fields that happen to be in Haiti instead of Columbia, in a country that speaks Frenchish instead of English.”

“If I suddenly had to oversee Robert Mondavi wineries, I would seek the best engineers, find the best species of grape, monitor and control the fields obsessively, seek the intelligence of the experts of the world, protect the brand name of the Mondavi family, and lie, cheat and steal to make the best wine in the world so I don’t have to lie, cheat, and steal to get the highest price for my wine. My wine will earn its price by itself.”

“But if I have to lie, cheat, and steal to keep the grapes growing, so be it.”

“And so with King’s Kafe Max.”

“Just because we are in Haiti, we should settle for volunteers?”

“At $8 a pound, we have no room for volunteers in our quality control efforts.”

“But at $8 a pound, we are as attractive for interns in agriculture as Farrari is for automobile engineers.”

“I have been to the grocery stores in Haiti. Haiti produces nothing to be proud about.”

“Haiti can produce the finest coffee in the world. As a brand. Interns should come to study the re-birth of an industry, but also the re-birth of an art, not unlike the first bottles of Champagne produced after the war.”

“I would prefer to produce 80 acres of the best coffee in the world, and therein claim for Haiti the gold medal it has been cheated out of for decades, than run 500 acres of volunteer [expletive] who abuse the Haiti Kafe brand name with wonton abandon.”

“I need intelligence and creativity in the likes of interns. I need interns who eventually will run Starbucks, not volunteers who will eventually work for Starbucks.”

“Haiti, by the way, seems to like the idea of being the best in the world at something other than failure.”

“Just. Saying.”

“HRQ”

 

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