Coffee-farming families are facing an unprecedented triumvirate of challenges: the ongoing effects of climate change, stubbornly low prices for coffee, and now the effects of the novel coronavirus. In this difficult period, Food 4 Farmers releases its 2019 Annual Report highlighting how food security and diversification strategies are helping families weather the pandemic.
“The future of coffee hinges on coffee-farming families being able to use their land as a critical resource to diversify into food production as well as coffee,” said Janice Nadworny, Co-Director of Food 4 Farmers. “When a crisis hits, families can better adapt to challenges if they’re able to rely on their farms as thriving local food and economic hubs while continuing to produce coffee.”
Food 4 Farmers takes a long-term approach to help Latin American coffee-producing communities diagnose their challenges, identify opportunities, develop strategies and implement them. The organization currently works with six coffee cooperatives and associations representing 8,000 small-scale coffee-farming families in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Colombia.
This year, those farmers made tangible advances in building food security:
In Jinotega, Nicaragua, families at SOPPEXCCA reduced the gap between net income earned from coffee and annual food costs by 40 percent, while producing healthy, organic food for their community.
Young people in Guatemala are finding new job opportunities through beekeeping where they now represent 39 percent of beekeepers at the Maya Ixil Cooperative.
The beekeeping coffee farmers of CESCMACH in Mexico saw their income increase by 41 percent from sales of honey and other bee products.
Seventeen young promoters at COMEPCAFE in Colombia are helping 288 families improve health and nutrition, grow traditional crops, and revitalize lost food traditions.
Nuevo Futuro in Colombia has successfully integrated food security into its mission and planning, with member-families and a local school now managing thriving food gardens.
About Food 4 Farmers
Food 4 Farmers partners with Latin American coffee-farming communities to cultivate a food-secure future. The team coaches and connects coffee cooperatives, small-scale farmers, and their families with the expertise they need to strengthen local food systems, build economic independence, cultivate leadership among families, women and young people, and support environmentally-friendly farming practices. For more information visit www.food4farmers.org.