We want to share some exciting news: Michael Sheridan has joined the team here at Intelligentsia as our Director of Sourcing and Sustainability.
Michael has spent most of the last 20 years in Latin America, nearly 15 years working for an international development agency, and more than a decade working to help make specialty coffee more inclusive, more sustainable and more beneficial for everyone in the supply chain. For the past seven years, He has emerged as one of the leading voices on issues of sustainability in coffee through his writing, his presentations at industry events and his leadership role on the SCAA’s Sustainability Council.
We first met Michael during a sourcing trip to Nicaragua in 2009. In 2010, we began to kick around some ideas together about what an innovative specialty project might look like in Colombia — one that created real opportunities and clear incentives for determined smallholder farmers to access specialty markets. Then in 2011, we started working closely with Michael to put those ideas into practice through the Borderlands project, which has produced some exceptional coffees over the past five years under some pretty challenging conditions: grinding poverty, the stubborn persistence of coca production and the presence of guerrilla groups and other armed actors. Those of you who have had an opportunity to try our Borderlands offerings over the past few years know that the
Michael’s experience in the coffeelands has given him an unusual level of understanding of the challenges and opportunities at origin. His collaboration with companies like ours and his engagement with the specialty coffee community have helped him understand what it takes to lead in the specialty marketplace. And through his leadership of large, complex, multi-country initiatives, he has developed management skills he will apply to his new role leading our buying team.
Michael’s Re:co presentation a few years ago, A Simple Question: Caturra or Castillo, remains an Intelligentsia all-time favorite and we encourage everyone to watch it.