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Growing coffee, better prices, better lives


Project: Sustainable and fair trade coffee farming
Location: Kiambu | Kenya
Date: Tuesday 20 November 2012
Partners: Ndumberi Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society (NCFCS), supported by Progreso

What did the hitchhikers do?
After the rough road from Ethiopia through northern Kenya, the hitchhikers arrived in the green hills of Kenya’s Central Province, where they visited the Ndumberi Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society (NCFCS). This cooperative is home to 2000 active members, 1300 of whom are women, with three factories. The cooperative faced tough times over the past decades: the global coffee market was liberalized, prices collapsed, farm sizes were shrinking as plots were subdivided among children, productivity went right down. Gradually, the cooperative has turned all that round. They have organized intensive training for the farmers so as to improve productivity and, thanks to UTZ certification that has assisted in building capacity of the farmers and managers. The cooperative has made huge strides. Before, one coffee tree was yielding less than one kilo of coffee. Now that has risen to more than 5 kilos and it is expected to reach 10 kilos over the coming years. NCFCS also provides affordable medical care to the farmers at the local level, which is good for the industry as it prevents loss of labour through preventable illnesses. In short: many shades of social, economic, and environmental sustainability are combined in this project.

Who are the partners involved?
Progreso started in 2001 and since then, works together with producers and their organizations to improve the income of the coffee and cocoa smallholders. Progreso promotes the integration of their products in the international market. To achieve these goals, there is an integral collaboration with the organizations to strengthen (1) their access to finance, (2) their access to the market, (3) their technical knowledge and (4) the diversification of their production. With this approach, Progreso supports the organizations throughout the production and trade processes and enhances their productive, organizational and commercial skills. At present, Progreso has successfully worked together with more than 70 coffee and cocoa organizations in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Progreso has innovated its approach and has joined forces with other initiatives that also work to improve the income of the small coffee and cocoa farmers.

What were the hitchhikers experiences? Can we see some photos, footage or blogs?
Watch Christiaans vlog to see the project up close.

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