John Lewis Partnership (JLP) is investing £100,000 over the next three years to fund a new laboratory and training school for the next generation of Colombia’s coffee farmers.
The funding will be used to kickstart a new training and education programme led by ASOPEP, a coffee co-operative made up of more than 300 members in post-conflict zones in the south-west of the country.
JLP has teamed up with Irish hot beverage company Bewley’s and Olam Specialty Coffee – in association with the Fairtrade Foundation – on the project.
Fairtrade coffee from Colombia contributes about a third of the beans used in Waitrose and John Lewis cafés every year.
The new laboratory and training facilities would enable local communities to sell coffee of a higher grade and value, JLP said. Local growers will be able to access to a variety of techniques, from organic and sustainable farming, good agricultural practices, new coffee varieties and quality testing.