Every year, our Food 4 Farmers crew always plans for SCAA Expo and Re:Co with high energy and spirit. It’s a unique opportunity that brings together all stakeholders from the coffee industry, and a time when we can advocate personally for the well-being of coffee farmers, in a place we know people are listening.

Fairtrade America’s ice cream social to benefit Food 4 Farmers. Margot Conover and Rodney North scooped for 2 hours, while Kyle Freund sent positive banana vibes They raised $500, matched by Philz Coffee, to help fund SOPPEXCCA’s new organic farmers market.

 

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Brenda Vinson, owner of Uncommon Grounds in Burlington Vermont, cheers on celebrity scoopers and our Board members Rick Peyser of Lutheran World Relief, Stacy Bocskor of Allegro Coffee, and Root Capital’s Liam Brody.

Every day, we think and talk about the challenges coffee farmers face. We focus on co-creating sustainable action plans and effective food security strategies, better nutrition for families, financing for new food ventures, and leadership development in coffee-growing communities. Our goal is to help coffee cooperatives and associations integrate food security programs into their business of growing and selling coffee, and develop expertise in and scalability of these programs.

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The Food 4 Farmers 2016 Partner/Funder/Board Brunch. Leaders from coops Comepcafe and SOPPEXCCA joined our Board and funders this year.

At SCAA, we have the luxury of connecting with our coop partners, donors, and peers, all in one place. We had face-to-face conversations with prospective supporters, and did our part to give back to our coffee community. While raising awareness about seasonal hunger in the Coffeelands is a key activity, our ultimate goal is to engage everyone who wants to get involved in fighting seasonal hunger. No matter how large or small a coffee business is, every one can have an impact on improving the quality of life for coffee farming families.

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Rick Peyser catches up with Emiliano Rice of InterAmerican Coffee at the Food 4 Farmers Brunch.

It takes dedicated, long-term partnerships to build strong communities that can take the lead in diversifying livelihoods, grow nutritious food, and provide additional income to farming families, while continuing to grow high quality coffee. SCAA Expo and Re:Co continue to be important platforms where we can all engage in honest dialogue about the problems that farmers face: limited economic opportunities, climate change, and gender inequality, among others. There, we learn from importers, roasters, retailers, baristas, and NGOs who continue to push new initiatives and advocate for farming families. SCAA is about building on this progress with new partnerships, initiatives and investments to support those who are the lifeblood of this industry.

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Fatima Ismael of SOPPEXXCA; Dennis Macray of Theo Chocolates; and Liam Brody of Root Capital presented on the Food Security panel at SCAA, moderated by our own Marcela Pino.

SCAA Sustainability lectures play a vital role in informing industry members about the challenges and successes at origin.  We were particularly proud of “Ensuring the Future of Coffee: Why Food Security Matters,” moderated by Marcela, with 2 panelists — Fatima Ismael of SOPPEXCCA and Liam Brody of Root Capital – serving as key partners in our work. The session highlighted the challenges farmers face and the efforts in place that are creating concrete economic opportunities for coffee farmers through successful, sustainable food security programs that can keep families on their farms and improve their quality of life.

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Fatima Ismael meets Food 4 Farmers Board member and Brio Coffeeworks owner Magda Van Dusen.

While we bring our experience with and laser focus on food security to share with other members of the industry, we gain access to some of the most creative, progressive, and powerful work going on around the world. We are privileged to learn from some amazing companies and NGOs applying innovative, community-appropriate solutions to old, ingrained problems.

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Kris Wieser of Philz Coffee and Food 4 Farmers Co-Director Janice Nadworny.

We believe in the win-win. Everyone can get what they want from their businesses, while ensuring that coffee farmers can thrive. And we want to add more people to our mix! Specialty coffee has some of the most creative people we’ve ever met. By working together on the tricky, complicated problem of seasonal hunger, we can create real and lasting solutions.

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Luz Chacon (left), president of Food 4 Farmers community partner Nuevo Futuro in Colombia, at our SCAA 2016 Ice Cream Social in Atlanta.