878 years for the love of good coffee and a passion for the people who cultivate it

9.1.2018
This is my favourite time of the year as it always feels like there are endless new possibilities. The path ahead is usually not fully laid out yet, but I know that I get to shape it and not knowing exactly what the future brings feels exciting. I love planning for the future, but I also like this time of year for the opportunity it offers for a slight pause for reflection.
 
Last year I got the chance to visit one of our most long-standing partnership programmes, International Coffee Partners, project in Brazil. It was really inspiring to hear first-hand from the smallholder farmers’ community about how they had taken the learnings and support offered through our implementing partner HRNS (Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung) and made it their own. From good agricultural practices and soil analysis implementation to succession planning on the family farms, the results were clear to see. Farms producing coffee of good quality with larger harvests and soil health to support it long term. What was most impressive for me was the sense of pride and empowerment of the people for the accomplishments thus far and the enthusiasm for the future that was apparent as you listened to their stories. By coming together into a local organisation called “Forca Café” with the local and international partners, these coffee farming families were able to make their community more successful, connected to the markets and ready to tackle future challenges like adapting to climate change or securing the next generation of family farms. Forca Café celebrated its’ 10th anniversary 2017. Congratulations once again and may the success story continue!
 
It feels good to know that through International Coffee Partners we have supported 68 085 coffee farming families thus far in 12 countries and developed approaches that really work. Members of ICP are seven family-owned companies that have a joint vision to make smallholder coffee farmers competitive in order to sustainably improve their living conditions while protecting natural resources and biodiversity. This vision is backed up by our long-term commitment and combined coffee experience of 878 years – on average each company has been in business for 125 years over several generations.  
 
We have collaborated for over 16 years in ICP and cultivated a partnership network both locally and globally that will form a success factor for the future. We are now planning what the next part of our joint journey as ICP should entail. What unites us is entrepreneurial spirit, shared values, long-term sustainability thinking and above all passion for the people who cultivate coffee now and in the future. Can’t wait for what we can do in the next chapter of sustainable coffee growing to support the smallholder farmers who make it all happen. My wish for the New Year is to continue building the bright future of coffee together and to create many meaningful coffee moments along the way!