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Volcafe Way

Our farmer support programme

Volcafe provides guidance and support to tens of thousands of coffee farmers through our Volcafe Way programme.

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Volcafe Way is our farmer support programme, carefully developed since 2014 to provide a holistic response to the challenges faced by coffee farmers. Farm profitability is a core focus of Volcafe Way – when producers see their incomes improve, they’re encouraged to improve farm practices, increase productivity, deliver higher quality and keep farming. We call this farming as a business.

With more than 170 years in business, Volcafe understands the pressures on coffee farmers – from market volatility to pests, from depleted soil to extreme weather. A host of factors can push farmers to consider abandoning coffee farming altogether, despite the persistent popularity of their produce. 

At the other end of the supply chain, coffee roasters see growing demand for socially and environmentally sound coffees amid deeper concern about the sustainability of the entire industry.  

As a company working directly with tens of thousands of coffee farmers in many of the leading coffee origins, as well as a trusted partner to coffee roasters and distributors, Volcafe recognises the unique position we are in to create lasting impact for farmers while sourcing coffee that is truly sustainable. That's why we created Volcafe Way.

  • Limited resources: Economic growth combined with population growth put increased demands on land, energy and water.
  • Migration: Younger generations are moving to more reliable jobs in cities.
  • Urbanisation: Population growth is encroaching on traditional coffee farming regions, such as Arusha, Tanzania; San Jose, Costa Rica; and Antigua, Guatemala.
  • Climate change: Extreme weather events and unpredictable precipitation patterns amplify a number of climate pressures, adding to production uncertainty.

  • Technical guidance: Many producers lack consistent access to technical assistance or agricultural extension services to advise on farm management practices.
  • Market access: Many farms lack direct access to good markets.
  • Price pressure: Highly efficient origins, like Brazil and Vietnam, make it difficult for producers of specialty washed Arabicas to compete on price.

  • Changing tastes: Developed specialty markets continue to evolve in North America, while also growing quickly in Asia-Pacific and Europe.
  • Conscious consumption: Producers are under increasing pressure to meet expectations about the environmental and social standards on their farms.

We used to work in the traditional way due to a lack of technical knowledge, now we get a great change. We’re improving our qualities of the cup as well as producing more quantities. Also, we’re promoting the reforestation programme inside the farm in order to improve the environment.

How does Volcafe Way work?

Volcafe Way is part of how we put our Sustainability Strategy into practice. Put succinctly, Volcafe Way:

  • Provides direct technical assistance to farmers, helping them to continually improve their coffee quality, farm productivity and yields.
  • Trains farmers in sustainable production, good agronomy, and making the best use of their land for future generations.
  • Helps producers manage social and environmental challenges and risks, gather data, and focus on measurable results that green-buyer customers can monitor and verify.
  • Creates business model farms as learning hubs in which surrounding communities can exchange best practices – whether they work directly with Volcafe or not.
  • Helps coffee farmers and cooperatives to produce to international certification standards such as Fairtrade, Organic, and Rainforest Alliance/UTZ. 
  • Widens and secures our diverse range of reliable sources of quality coffee.
  • Adds value to suppliers through training, advice, and market access, while integrating sustainability into the supply chain for roasters and consumers. Our experience and outreach with Volcafe Way enables us to offer Volcafe Verified and Volcafe Excellence responsibly sourced coffees through the Volcafe RS Standard.

Volcafe Way in numbers

11 origin countries where Volcafe Way operates:
Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras,
Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam

45,000 farmers trained

250+ agronomists and field staff

700 business model farms and replicas in operation

150,000 hectares of coffee farm land involved in Volcafe Way

2.6 million bags of certified coffees (including Volcafe Way) in 2020

Business model farm in Uganda

A business model farm in Uganda – one of 700 in the Volcafe Way programme.

A Volcafe Way field advisor speaks with a farmer

Volcafe Way field team members provide advice and guidance to farmers.

Volcafe Way team in Peru

Volcafe Way field teams, like this one in Peru, bring agronomic expertise directly to farmers.

A new coffee plant in Uganda

Volcafe Way also supports farmers to implement good agricultural practices at their farms.

Volcafe staff examine organic matter in the soil

Our field staff aren't afraid to get their hands dirty! Here, Peruvian Volcafe Way agronomists analyse organic matter in the soil.


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