On the 28th of November 2012 we celebrated our 10th anniversary with a well-attended event in the Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam. Together with our partners from trade, industry, government and NGOs and of course the management of our sponsor DE Master Blenders 1753 we looked back at where we came from and to the future of sustainability in the coffee sector. This short video gives and impression of the day.
With the ambition to seek ways for integrating pre-competitive activities of various partners for a sector-wide Sustainable Coffee Program in Vietnam, IDH (Sustainable Trade Initiative, initiated by the Dutch government) organized a field trip to the Central Highlands of Vietnam during the 3rd week of September 2012. Representatives from DE Foundation as well as other members of the Steering Committee joined the trip to view projects and consult with numerous potential partners in Vietnam.
Sustainabilitea: on where our tea comes from, how it's made and what Pickwick is doing together with the DE Foundation, Soldaridad and UTZ Certified in Indonesia and Malawi to help improve tea production.
Our project partner FNC in Colombia made a video of the project, specifically looking at what farmers think about it (Spanish only).
In order to gain insight into the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the various training modalities, Sara Lee funds a research on the costs and benefits of using different training intensities and forms of implementation to realize certified sustainable production by coffee growers in Vietnam. A survey has been implemented in Dak Lak and Gia Lai from mid April to mid May to collect data for this research.
One of the pressing issues in the North West region of Cameroon, where agriculture plays a principal role in income generating, is health. According to the National Demographic Survey of 2004, the HIV prevalence in Cameroon was 5.5% of the total 2 million inhabitants, with the North West region having the highest prevalence of 8.7% of the total 19.4 million inhabitants.
A large number of the coffee farmers in Vietnam are dependent on the local collectors for processing coffee and for credit. They borrow money from the collectors with high interest rates (at 2.-3.5% per month) not only for inputs but often also for family expenses. While generally such interest rates strongly reduce farm income, in the worst cases they lead to farmers having to sell their coffee at low prices when their coffee cherries are still unripe. Because of such practices, various farmers have fallen in a debt trap, where they need to borrow to survive and work hard just to be able to pay of their debts.
Ugandan project farmers become part of a farmer-owned company, the Uganda Coffee Farmers Alliance (UCFA)
Today the radio show "Coffee World" talks about Good Agricultural Practices and Farmer Field Schools with project agronomist Ishmael Chefon Ndofor and Project officers Emmanuel, Wara Festus and Mey Chrisantus. Duration: approximately 30 minutes.
Starting in 2008, the project "Professionalizing the coffee supply chain in Honduras", jointly supported by SOGIMEX S.A. (ECOM) and DE Foundation has pre-financed fertilizers to 453 small coffee producers. An average increase of 30% in productivity was observed right after the first year. With time, productivity can be doubled or tripled by applying good agricultural practices and the right fertilizers.