Coffee and Collaboration: A Success Story From Peru

Taylors of Harrogate, Matthew Algie and Marks & Spencer and Twin

 

Peru is one of the top-20 global coffee producers and was the centre of a recent project to increase the resilience of coffee farming. In 2015, smallholder farmers were contending with a range of overlapping issues. Unpredictable weather makes coffee harder to grow and trees more prone to diseases like coffee leaf rust. Earning a decent income from coffee was getting harder and many young people were migrating to find work elsewhere (30% in San Juan del Oro in 2015). In addition, deep-rooted gender traditions were disempowering women - men take control on the farm despite women doing 55% of the labour.

These issues created challenging economic and social realities for rural communities. However, coffee has the potential to break farmers out of poverty if high quality cherries are produced under sustainable conditions that are sold for higher prices.

A unique partnership model, representing all stakeholders of a supply chain came together to tackle these challenges faced by communities in Peru. The three-year project resulted in greater inclusion of women and youth and climate smart farming techniques adopted by two coffee cooperatives. This increased resilience against economic and social shocks while continuing the supply to loyal international buyers.

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