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Meet The 4 Coffee Charities Impacting Coffee Farmers (+ How You Can Help)
Written by: Garrett Oden
We’re in a golden age of coffee right now—exceptional flavors, freshly roasted, easy online ordering—but the picture is not so bright everywhere.
Coffee farmers around the world aren’t experiencing the same coffee renaissance.
Unroasted beans are still selling for around $1/pound. Poverty and malnutrition are still at extreme levels. And climate change is making farming in some areas unsustainable.
But there’s hope!
We’re highlighting four coffee charities that are making the world a better place for coffee growing communities. These visionary organizations have created huge impacts already, and we’re thrilled to share them with you.
- The Coffee Trust: Helping Guatemalans Prosper
- CRS Coffeelands: Better Farming Via Water
- Coffee Kids: Empowering The Next Generation Of Farmers
- Grounds For Health: Giving Women Access To Medical Care
- Other Coffee Charities
- ⚠️ Don’t Donate Until You Read This
- How JavaPresse Helps Farmers Grow Coffee Instead Of Cocaine
The Coffee Trust: Helping Guatemalans Prosper
The Guatemalan Civil War may have ended in 1996, but in the Ixil region of northern Guatemala, economic recovery never ramped up. A tragic 90% of inhabitants live in poverty.
The Coffee Trust has a variety of projects aimed at helping local coffee farming communities in the region, including…
- Regenerate the soil and ecosystem
- Earn higher wages with more diverse crops
- Recover from a devastating coffee disease epidemic in 2014
- Educate more children via scholarships
- Take ownership of their health and wellness
One initiative that really inspires us is the micro-credit program:
Despite being relatively small, The Coffee Trust is having a massive impact in Guatemala. It’s no surprise that they were named the National Coffee Association Charity of the Year for 2019.
CRS Coffeelands: Better Farming Via Water
Even among the non-religious, the Catholic Relief Services is a well-respected organization that touches the lives of millions of farmers around the world. Their Coffeelands initiative is primarily centered in Latin America, East Africa, and Oceana..
They conduct world-class research to help coffee communities…
- Grow better coffee at higher yields
- Responsibly manage water resources (to avoid water insecurity)
- Improve farming practices to handle drought and disease
- Navigate eco-friendly government policymaking
Their Blue Harvest project (for water insecurity) has had dramatic results:
Coffee Kids: Empowering The Next Generation Of Farmers
One challenge fueling the coffee crisis is the lack of young coffee farmers. The kids of current farmers often don’t want to grow up to be coffee farmers like their parents and grandparents. There are more opportunities available in the cities, and low-profit farming just isn’t appealing.
Coffee Kids engages with young coffee farmers—and the kids of those farmers—to make growing coffee more financially sustainable by…
- Offering entrepreneurship training to crate financially viable farms (like we do!)
- Connecting young farmers with established farming mentors
- Opening locally-led coffee shops in farming communities
- Providing business funding to farmers where banks don’t operate
The startup funding project is one of their most impactful programs:
Grounds For Health: Giving Women Access To Medical Care
Coffee farmers are often located in rural mountain and jungle communities, which limits their access to medical care. Sadly, this isolation has led to terrible rates of untreated cervical cancer in women.
Despite being 100% treatable, cervical cancer is the #1 cancer in the developing world, killing nearly 500,000 women each year. And with 80% of coffee harvesters being women, this issue has a compounding effect on the coffee industry.
Grounds For Health fights against this dreary reality by…
- Training local health providers to screen and treat cervical cancer
- Partnering with community leaders on prevention campaigns
- Leading volunteer screening groups to remote regions
Grounds For Health has helped hundreds of women in each of the six countries it operates in get the life-saving treatment they needed to live a full, healthy life.
Other Coffee Charities
These four coffee charities aren’t the only ones—there are dozens (if not hundreds) of organizations doing good, meaningful work for coffee farmers all over the world.
Here are a few notable mentions:
- World Coffee Research — This non-profit is leading some of the best coffee research in the world. Their work has directly led to farmer impact, like new drought and disease-resistant coffee plants.
- Project Rwanda — This organization is spurring economic development in Rwanda by connecting rural farming communities to the cities and making the nation safer.
- Doctors Without Borders — Heros from DwB go to the ends of the Earth to provide medical care to isolated communities, including those located disease-ridden and war-torn areas.
- TechnoServe — Like other organizations, TechnoServe creates economic opportunity for rural communities, often through agricultural programs (including coffee).
- Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center — This environmentally-focused non-profit creates the Bird Friendly Certification and helps coffee farmers regenerate the natural ecosystems of their community.
Don’t Donate Until You Read This
Donating money or time to a good cause is rewarding on so many levels—and it truly makes a difference in the world. But don’t forget: every time you buy a bag of coffee, you either support or harm these initiatives.
Your money 👉 a business 👉 ethical/unethical practices 👉 impact on coffee farmers.
And when you compound this by hundreds or thousands of cups of coffee each year, it’s easy to see how your coffee habits alone can help (and hurt) coffee farmers.
This is why throwing money at any coffee company could be a big mistake.
Low-grade, cheap beans (think $8-12 per bag) are the kinds of beans that leave farmers around the world in poverty. Those prices are too low. You may love a good deal, but there’s a negative impact on the other end of the supply chain.
(This isn’t a trick to get you to spend more on coffee beans. Low prices have created systemic poverty around the world.)
So here’s what you should do: look for coffee companies that are intentionally giving back a portion of their profits to a reputable non-profit or conducting their own responsible giveback program.
How JavaPresse Helps Farmers Grow Coffee Instead Of Cocaine
Young coffee farmers know there’s more money in growing coca (the plant that can be transformed into cocaine) than coffee—and they’re switching their farms to the drug-related plant by the thousands.
We donate a portion of the profits from every bag of JavaPresse coffee to support local organizations in South America that train these young farmers how to grow more profitable coffee.
This helps keep at-risk youth and adults from entering the drug trade just to feed their families, and makes coffee farming more sustainable for everyone.
We invite you to join our JavaPresse Coffee Club today and turn your daily cup of coffee into an impact-rich brew that makes the world a better place.