This past year made it clear once again that coffee is simply not enough to support the millions of families who rely on it. The global coffee price has hovered well below the average cost of production, and farmers are struggling to feed their families and maintain their land. The social and economic impact has been enormous. The need to transform coffee farms into economically viable businesses is vital.
For generations, farmers have lacked control over most everything related to coffee production: prices, climate impacts, politics, and consolidation among buyers. Undoing the effects of monoculture is a long-term venture. Simply implementing standard cookie cutter strategies of productivity and quality doesn’t last, and can make the problem worse. Any effort to address problems at origin must first and foremost include the perspectives, values, and culture of the families and communities involved.
We’re proud to release our 2018 Annual Report (PDF) reflecting on the successes and challenges from the past year. During that time, we witnessed tangible, positive achievements from our community partners in spite of overwhelming odds, whether it was political strife in Nicaragua, or the precipitous drop in coffee prices.
Our partners went beyond their original vision to create something completely new of their own devising. They made critical investments. They began to focus on the long-term, rather than just getting through the next year or the next crisis. They gave themselves the luxury of planning, hope, and a feeling of control over their lives. For us, these are some of the most important indicators of success.
We hope you will read the report and get in touch to find out more about our work and how we can extend these partnerships to reach more coffee-farming families. Our gratitude goes out to our donors, our Board, and most of all, the farming families and organizations we work with in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Janice Nadworny & Marcela Pino, Co-Directors
Magda Van Dusen, Board President