As part of our Sustainability Strategy, Volcafe will work with producers to build thriving coffee communities based on responsible citizenship.
With long-term presence at origin, we bring insight and experience to complex and sensitive areas of coffee farming such as education and gender, for example. This expertise underpins our work in this area. We will buy and trade coffee from sustainable sources.
We will work with suppliers to ensure operations and practices meet international standards for employment and equality, and where younger generations are motivated to carry on the family business, securing both long-term livelihoods and the future supply of coffee.
Volcafe knows that farmers as well as our roaster customers – and their customers, coffee drinkers! – want to see socioeconomic progress in coffee communities. One way we can achieve our mutual objectives in this area is through partnerships, where we can run projects of different scopes and scales that have a direct positive impact for coffee farmers and the wider society.
Below are a few examples of our work to support thriving communities.
In what has often been a male-dominated industry, there are ample opportunities to equal the playing field for women farmers, such as those involved in Guatemala's La Morena project. At the same time, we recognise that gender equity often plays out with subtle shifts in individual households where both men and women contribute to family farming. In Tanzania and Uganda, we are using a gender equity approach derived from the GALS methodology.
In a longstanding partnership with the Costa Foundation, Volcafe has helped to build new school facilities in coffee farming communities in Colombia, Peru, and Vietnam – as of 2021, these schools serve over 4,700 children. In Colombia, one of the new schools offers students the chance to earn a dual degree with national recognition as both a high school graduate and an agricultural technician.
Volcafe and our partners work to improve access to safe drinking water in the communities where we work. This can include building sanitation systems, donating water filters, bringing more efficient washing stations online, and other approaches. For instance, by promoting good agricultural practices and regenerative agriculture, Volcafe is also contributing to less water wastage and contamination in farming and processing operations. With fewer chemical inputs alongside improved water conservation, there is less agricultural run-off into fragile local ecologies.
In many coffee-growing countries, smallholder farms are the main source of coffee production. This can mean that farming families live in more remote areas where healthcare facilities are not always readily accessible. We work to improve healthcare access for farmers and coffee workers, either by building clinics in coffee communities or bringing mobile clinics to farmers.
Distributing water filters for safe drinking water in Honduras. Image: Molinos de Honduras
Costa Foundation and Carcafe partnered to build a new school in Nariño, Colombia. Image: Carcafe
A training with women coffee farmers in Tanzania. Image: Taylor Winch Tanzania