Food 4 Farmers
This month, Propeller Coffee is highlighting Food 4 Farmers to continue to raise awareness for the incredible work they are doing. Here is an update from Food 4 Farmers on their progress and challenges from the last year and plans for the year ahead.
Guest Blog Post Written By Food 4 Farmers
Food 4 Farmers grew out of alarming findings from a study led by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and the International Center For Tropical Agriculture (also known as CIAT) that uncovered high levels of seasonal hunger faced by coffee-farming families in Latin America. They found that nearly 70% of the families interviewed experienced 3 to 8 months of food scarcity year after year. In 2011, Food 4 Farmers was founded as the only NGO focused solely on helping coffee-farming families put healthy, locally-grown food on the table.
Since 2011, we’ve helped thousands of coffee-farming families improve their livelihoods, food security, and resilience, while nurturing their farms and the land around them. 2021 was one of the most difficult years we've seen for coffee-farming families, who confronted a pandemic, global supply chain disruptions, and a parade of climate events putting their food access, climate resilience, and livelihoods at risk. But they persisted, and with our support they continued to work toward a food-secure future.
One of our largest projects in 2021 was to implement agroforestry – the integration of trees and shrubs into crop systems – as a strategy to combat food insecurity. Agroforestry improves access to locally-grown, healthy food, provides year-round forage for bees and other pollinators on and around coffee farms, and restores native forest systems to build climate resilience in rural farming communities. With our partners at the SOPPEXCCA, Maya Ixil, and COMEPCAFE coffee cooperatives, we planted nearly 100,000 fruit trees, shrubs, and bee-friendly plants on 580 coffee farms, supporting more than 2,875 cooperative members.
We also helped SOPPEXCCA to grow their school garden program from 4 elementary schools to 13, where over 2,600 students are learning to grow, eat, and appreciate healthy food every day. The Mercadito Nutri-Hogar – SOPPEXCCA’s women-run organic farmers market – showed strong growth as well, despite the challenges the community faced – from hurricane damage to COVID-19. At the end of 2021, sales had increased 70% compared to 2020, providing 36 women and their families with additional income to feed and invest in their families – including sending their daughters to local universities.
In 2022, coffee-farming families will need support more than ever to continue their critical work towards a food-secure future. We’ve been humbled by the contributions of our coffee industry partners, like Propeller – whose current promotion and advocacy for our work is helping to lay the foundation for their accomplishments of the year ahead. Please consider supporting the future of coffee-farming families through the opportunities that Propeller has generously provided.
Fore more information about Food 4 Farmers, visit www.food4farmers.org