Worldwide about 12.5 million farming households are dependent on coffee production for their income. Despite the continuous increase in consumption, this income is rarely sufficient, especially for smallholder farmers. The lack of livelihood security is a major challenge for farmers and their families.
In the global value chain the producers themselves are often the weakest participants. Smallholder farmers carry the biggest risk concerning market-based dynamics, such as price fluctuations, and are highly dependent on external factors which are out of their control, such as climate change.
Now for the good news: many of these coffee farmers are able to increase their income and improve their livelihoods noticeably although the possible solutions are not easy. We are committed to support farmers in this endeavour by collaborating with different non-profit organisations in the sector to drive change. This is our approach:
Direct support on the ground.
Visit, talk, act. Once we get to know the farmers, we co-develop approaches to facilitate improvements of the local social and economic situation. Our direct focus is to increase the income of farming households. In addition, we aim to enable households to use their resources most effectively for the benefit of all household members. This could include trainings, direct financial contributions or investments in essential infrastructure.
In terms of geography we have been focussing our efforts on Ethiopia in the past. Not only is the coffee sector a major contributor to the economy of the country, but Ethiopia is also offering vast potential for yield- and quality-improvements as well as a distinct local coffee culture.
In addition, this year we decided to extent our activities to Uganda and started to develop the first project approaches together with local support.
Transforming a whole sector.
Often, structural deficits are the reason that coffee farmers find themselves at a disadvantage. For this reason, we’re supporting the development of innovative solutions to increase knowledge, transparency and justice in the coffee sector, both nationally and internationally.