There are many things that can influence the quality of a cup of coffee. The variety of the plant, the altitude of the farm or even the amount of rainfall before a harvest can impact a coffee’s potential. But nothing is more important to the journey of each bean than the work of the producer. From planting the little coffee seedling in the nursery to hand-picking and processing the first harvest four years later, coffee is only fully realised through a combination of the producer’s earned knowledge, hard work, patience and expertise.
To find partner producers for the Farm to Home Coffee project the International Trade Centre first put an open call out earlier in 2020 to coffee growing groups and cooperatives located throughout East Africa’s producing countries. All the coffees were chosen for their distinctly unique flavour, quality score and cup profile, a result of the coffee’s distinctive terroir, variety and, of course, production. The result is a range of coffees that are as distinctive and vibrant as the people who grew them.
Ensuring the people who grow coffee are fully rewarded for their work means we are not only able to help smallholder families earn a living wage, but increase financial security for when times get tough. By doing this we hope to make sure we can all continue to enjoy delicious coffee in the future, at both ends of the supply chain.
This coffee is a collaboration between coffee farmers and organisations in Eastern Africa, the International Trade Centre and Sensible Development. Farm to Home Coffee aims to create a new model that puts the farmers first.
Despite their hard work coffee farmers are restricted to selling their raw coffee in local markets at prices outside of their control, sometimes even below the cost of production.
It takes up to 5 years for a coffee tree to bear fruit. Farmers work hard year-round to cultivate, pick and process each bean, ready for export.
80% of the world’s coffee is grown by smallholder farmers. The retail coffee market is estimated to be worth over $83 billion per year, however this value does not reach those who grow it