Food 4 Farmers celebrates 10 year anniversary
Food 4 Farmers is marking its 10 year anniversary, celebrating a decade of collaboration with coffee-farming families and co-ops to build food security and community-led resilience to climate change. To mark the milestone, Food 4 Farmers invites the larger community to join in its effort to raise $50,000 to support community partner innovation and resiliency. This campaign will fund Food 4 Farmers livelihood projects in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Nicaragua that strengthen local food systems and economic opportunity. Honey company GloryBee, and an anonymous donor, will match all new donations up to $10,000 through the end of 2021.
In 2007, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) was commissioned by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to research the challenges faced by small-scale coffee farmers. The team included Food 4 Farmers co-founder Rick Peyser. Hundreds of interviews with farming families exposed ongoing seasonal hunger confronting coffee farmers, who suffered three to eight months of food insecurity every year — “los meses flacos”– when coffee income ran out, and they couldn’t afford to put food on the table.
“When we started out, we knew the problem of seasonal hunger was bigger than Food 4 Farmers, or any one organisation, could solve on its own. So we focused on collaboration with coffee-producing organisations and farming families to develop long-term strategies that reflect the aims of the farmers, using an agroecological approach that promotes farming in harmony with nature,” explains co-founder Janice Nadworny. “At the heart of our work is investing in the people who grow coffee, to make sure they have the ability to thrive independently.”
In July 2011, Food 4 Farmers launched its first food security partnership with the SOPPEXCCA coffee cooperative in Nicaragua, and has continued to add new coffee-growing organisations as partners. Currently, the organisation works with six coffee cooperatives and producer organisations in four countries, representing 8,700 small-scale farming families.
Ed Canty, Food 4 Farmers board chair and general manager of Cooperative Coffees, notes: “Food security remains an issue for even the most successful coffee producing organization. The effects of climate change and the pandemic have only intensified the need for programs that support locally-led solutions empowering coffee producers. Long-term, sustainable partnerships, coupled with local knowledge, have made it possible for coffee farmers to grow healthy food and feed their families and communities all year long.”