Philz Coffee announces Partnership with Food 4 Farmers to Support Food Security
We’re excited to announce that we’re working with Philz Coffee to build lasting food security for thousands of coffee-farming families throughout Central and South America. Stay tuned for updates about our work together!
Food 4 Farmers featured in Specialty Coffee Association’s Blueprint to End Hunger
The SCAA has produced a series of publications addressing critical issues at origin that threaten the sustainability of specialty coffee. In its inaugural piece on food security, Food 4 Farmers is featured as one of the organizations working in this arena. Our beekeeping program with Root Capital and the Maya Ixil coffee cooperative in Guatemala has been up and running since 2014, and is already delivering much-needed supplemental income to nearly 50 families who have, up until now, depended entirely on coffee for their livelihoods.
“Hunger has no place in our industry and yet it takes an enormous toll on the world’s coffee-growers. Such food insecurity among our coffee-producing partners is inconsistent with our industry’s commitment to sustainable livelihoods and strongly contradicts our desire to ensure the long-term success of the specialty coffee industry for future generations. While hunger and lack of food security are highly complicated issues that warrant further research, producer-led feedback, and fundamental structural changes, there are immediate opportunities for all stakeholders in the specialty coffee industry to get involved and take action to help end hunger in the coffeelands.”
He writes, “Knowing that two out of every three coffee farmer families do not have enough to eat throughout the year should be shocking to all of us involved in the coffee industry. So, what can we do about it?”
Seasonal hunger is a major concern throughout Latin America, even with direct trade, fair trade, and other certification models. While these programs have generated important benefits and continue to evolve, this still has not solved the problem.
This SCAA publication gives a generous nod to Food 4 Farmers’ efforts to build thriving small business ventures — such as beekeeping — that can add much-needed income, diversified livelihoods, and stronger local food systems to rural communities in Latin America.
Food 4 Farmers featured in Perfect Daily Grind in April
Coffee Farming and Beekeeping in Latin America: A Path to Food Security
“Alejandro gently lifts off the honey super and calms the bees with smoke from his ahumador. The super is packed with 10 kilos of rich golden honey. For the last three years this very honey has been the economic salvation of Alejandro’s family, providing much-needed compensation for coffee sales lost as a result of the devastating La Roya, or coffee leaf rust, disease.
La Roya hasn’t just been ruining coffee production; it’s been ruining lives. Luckily, Food 4 Farmers is taking it on themselves to help give coffee farmers the food security that they need in this desperate time.
But how are they doing it? And what does this mean for coffee farmers? Read on to discover the answers to these questions and more.”
Coffee Geek 2015 Holiday Fundraiser Grows 3 School Gardens for SOPPEXCCA Kids
We’re working with 650 families who are members of Nicaraguan coffee cooperative SOPPEXCCA, to help them build long-term food security programs, grow nutritious, fresh food for the community and reduce their dependence on coffee for all their income.
Thanks to Coffee Geek and sponsors 1st Line Equipment, Acaia Scales, Aerobie, Baratza, Behmor, Espro, Orphan Espresso, Reg Barber, and Whole Latte Love, 200 students at 3 elementary schools in Los Alpes, Los Cerrones, and Santa Rosa will now have access to delicious, fresh food they will grow with the help of SOPPEXCCA, their teachers, and families. School gardens are particularly effective in starting kids out on a lifetime of good eating habits, while strengthening local food systems that provide nutritious fruits and vegetables to help kids learn better and stay healthier.
Our goal was to raise $10,000 by December 31, 2015 – and the generous community of donors gave a whopping $13,500! We’ll update everyone on our progress, with a goal of supporting this important program for many years to come.
Food 4 Farmers Teams Running in 2016 Vt. City Marathon
For the third year, we’ll be running in the Vermont City Marathon on Memorial Day weekend in beautiful Burlington, Vermont! This event has been a very important way for us to raise much-needed funds for our current projects, while raising awareness about seasonal hunger in coffee-growing communities. We’ve got several teams from Keurig Green Mountain running and raising money for us, with volunteer extraordinaire Missy Gorham at the helm. And, thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor, up to $5,000 raised will be matched. We’ll post updates about our runners and the event. In the meantime, check out our Crowdrise page here, and please consider donating to support coffee-farming families!
CB Sacks: Upcycling Bags for Fashion While Doing Good for Coffee Farmers
Food 4 Farmers Board member Kara Greenblott is new to the coffee world; her expertise is in global food security. As a long-time consultant for large governmental organizations and NGOs working to eradicate hunger in some of the poorest areas of the world, Kara was one of our first recruits to join Food 4 Farmers’ fledgling Board back in 2010. Once she got into the world of coffee, Kara was hooked – and turned her new interest into a business that feeds her passion for food security, coffee, sustainability — and fashion. You can read more about Kara and her new business, CB Sacks, here:
To see Kara’s beautiful bags, go to www.cbsacks.com.
“A Film About Coffee” Screening Raises Funds for Food 4 Farmers
On December 6th, the Vermont community came together to taste Counter Culture Coffee, Middlebury Chocolates, and bid on fabulous coffee items at the silent auction – all to benefit Food 4 Farmers. The event was sponsored by our good friends at Maglianero, and raised nearly $3,000 for our projects in Latin America.
Post-screening, guests engaged in an animated discussion about the importance of high quality coffee to coffee drinkers and a better quality of life for coffee farmers, with panelists Rick Peyser, Corey Goldsmith, Marty Souza, Janice Nadworny, and pre-film presenter Don Holly.
Haven’t seen the film? Watch the trailer.
Vt. Artisan, Counter Culture Join Forces with Food 4 Farmers to Fund Food Security Work with CESMACH in Mexico
Vermont-based roaster Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea and North Carolina-based Counter Culture Coffee have both funded Food 4 Farmers’ new partnership with the CESMACH coffee co-operative in Chiapas, Mexico, to help strengthen food security for the cooperative’s 600 members and their families. In September, Food 4 Farmers began working with co-op staff and members to determine the root causes of food insecurity, identify community-based resources and assets, and build a strategic plan to implement long-term strategies to address hunger.
Mané Alves of Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea says that his desire to build strong relationships with the farmers who supply coffee spurred him to make this investment. “I believe that high quality coffee cannot come at the expense of the quality of life for coffee farmers. Simply paying a premium for their coffee is not enough; they have endured decades of hunger, lack of education, and poverty, in order to bring us our daily cup of coffee that we all rely on.”
Counter Culture’s Hannah Popish says, “We were excited to receive a proposal from CESMACH, and to hear that they wanted to collaborate with Food 4 Farmers, an NGO we already knew to be well trusted by the coffee industry and producers alike. Partnering with an NGO to carry out our projects at origin is a dream scenario for Counter Culture. Often, cooperatives are stretched thin carrying out their day-to-day operations, and they may not have the nuanced skills necessary to help their members with certain community development needs. Pairing them with NGOs is an ideal marriage.”
Rick Peyser, Board Chair and Co-founder of Food 4 Farmers, noted how ongoing food security issues have recently worsened. “The 3 to 8 months of chronic seasonal food insecurity that has plagued small-scale coffee farming families in Central America for decades is now gaining force as coffee rust disease strengthens its hold in the region. With harvests down 20 to 40% this year, and expectations of significantly lower yields next year, there will be a severe reduction in farmers’ incomes that will extend and deepen the impact of these ‘thin months,’ putting families’ food security at great risk,” said Peyser.
Morris, Mendez publish paper on ‘Los meses flacos’: seasonal food insecurity in a Salvadoran organic coffee cooperative
Food 4 Farmers Board member Professor Ernesto Mendez and doctoral candidate Katlyn Morris recently published an in-depth analysis of the causes of food insecurity in a small organic coffee cooperative of El Salvador. This paper shows an interesting link between food insecurity and conventional agricultural management of food crops. It also examines the complexities of smallholder management strategies of the multiple agricultural plots they own/rent, and how this affects the food security of the household.