The Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) will award its 2018 Leadership Medal of Merit to two recipients: David Griswold of Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers in the individual category, and the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) in the corporate category. The honours will be presented April 21 in Seattle during CQI’s annual luncheon. The CQI is honouring Griswold and the FNC for their commitment to improving farmers’ livelihoods, fostering sustainability, and increasing coffee quality. Griswold has achieved these objectives as the pioneer of the “relationship coffee” sourcing initiative with Sustainable Harvest, while the FNC has worked directly with farmers for 90-plus years to accomplish these feats in strengthening the Colombian coffee sector. Griswold is the founder of Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, a green-coffee-importing company committed to sourcing coffee with impact. Through Griswold’s “relationship coffee” method, Sustainable Harvest has spent more than 20 years creating transparent relationships that increase value throughout the supply chain. “Under David’s leadership and vision, Sustainable Harvest has been unique in providing technical assistance and certification to producers worldwide, as well as higher prices and knowledge of their product,” says CQI Executive Director David Roche. Griswold served as president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) from 2003 to 2004 and led the association in its first sustainability conference. In 2008, he received the SCAA’s Outstanding Contribution Award in recognition for his contribution to the SCAA and the specialty-coffee industry. Under his leadership, Sustainable Harvest has partnered with over 200,000 coffee smallholder farmers, helping them gain access to premium markets and increased incomes. In 2003, Griswold led Sustainable Harvest in launching Let’s Talk Coffee, an origin-based, producer-focused conference bringing together stakeholders to learn, connect and calibrate as a supply chain. Let’s Talk Coffee has grown into an industry-leading conference that this year will hold its 14th global event in Colombia. The FNC was founded in 1927 by Colombian coffee growers as a way to create national and international representation and to improve the quality of their lives. In its 90-plus years, the organization has helped improve the well-being of over 500,000 Colombian families involved in coffee production. “Thanks in large part to the work of the FNC, quality and sustainability are not recent trends for Colombian coffee growers,” says CQI’s Roche. “These have been a priority for more than 90 years, along with differentiating quality, adding value, and staying ahead of the curve on economic, social and environmental practices.” The FNC has started many important initiatives and taken visionary measures to strengthen the Colombia coffee sector. In 1938, the FNC founded CENICAFÉ, Colombia’s national coffee research centre that seeks to find innovative methods to increase sustainability, raise yields and improve quality. The federation continues to work closely with the Colombian government to provide health care, education, infrastructure, and rural development to strengthen the coffee sector. The FNC’s programs also help coffee growers prepare for the challenges ahead, including adapting to climate change, fostering sustainable coffee farming, and stimulating generational continuity. Most recently, the FNC has led the way in bringing together coffee producers from several countries to create a new economic order to promote coffee sustainability.