Food 4 Farmers

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

Across Latin America, seasonal hunger – a persistent and insidious form of food insecurity that affects generations of people in a geographic region –  is devastating coffee-farming families and threatening the future of coffee. Despite producing Fair Trade and organic certified coffees, many families find themselves living on meager incomes far below the Global Poverty Line, and their annual income from coffee often falls short of covering basic food needs.

At Food 4 Farmers, we partner with coffee cooperatives to cultivate a food-secure future for farmers and their families by helping them grow healthy food on their farms, diversify their sources of income, and build local leadership, knowledge, and resources within their communities. 
Because food insecurity is caused by and perpetuates an interconnected web of challenges – from climate change to emigration –  our approach reflects the evolving needs and goals of each co-op partner, emphasizing community-led strategies and ongoing collaboration to develop effective long-term solutions. Our work also focuses on education and behavioral change, encouraging farmers to diversify their farms into thriving, local food hubs while continuing coffee production. The goal is to not only address immediate food needs but also to create a sustainable local food system that benefits both the community and the environment.

Below, we highlight how food insecurity in the coffeelands intersects with current issues faced by communities across the globe, the opportunities our work with coffee cooperatives makes possible, and how you can support a more sustainable and fair future of coffee. 

Percolating Challenges: Climate, Coffee, and Food Security
In coffee-farming communities, climate change poses a severe threat to food security as shifting weather patterns and increased environmental stressors impact coffee yields. The resulting economic strain on farmers exacerbates food insecurity for families dependent on coffee as their primary source of income.

Our work incorporates agroecological practices such as crop diversification, agroforestry system restoration, and promoting organic growing practices to bolster food production and contribute to the overall well-being of the communities we partner with. 

No Farming Without Farmers: Emigration's Effect on Coffee
The phenomenon of emigration, once a sporadic occurrence, has become a cultural sea change in coffee-producing communities. The departure of young people seeking opportunities abroad – most of whom are men – disrupts the traditional fabric of families and communities. This mass migration, fueled by remittances, threatens both the coffee production’s future and the ability of families to put good food on their tables. 

Food 4 Farmers acknowledges the challenges that emigration presents, but also sees potential in the resilience and newfound skills of those who have stayed behind. Through empowering women and young people with skills and opportunities, we aim to create economic engines within communities. By promoting local initiatives such as bakeries and beekeeping programs, our work provides an alternative to migration, offering hope and possibilities within coffee farmers’ homelands.

Opportunity Creation: Transforming Lives
Food 4 Farmers' impact transcends agriculture, reaching the lives of individuals like Enoemia Mazariegos. A single mother and member of the ACODIHUE coffee cooperative in Guatemala, Enoemia's story reflects the transformative power of opportunity creation. Through the co-op’s Community Promoter Program that we implemented together, Enoemia overcame doubts about her capabilities, gaining economic incentives and a newfound sense of responsibility.

The program not only enabled Enoemia to secure affordable housing but also instilled a sense of empowerment. Her journey from limited job opportunities on a family coffee plot to becoming a promoter of our food security programs has transformed her family's diet, lifestyle, and prospects for the future. Enoemia's story exemplifies how our initiatives go beyond addressing immediate needs, creating lasting impacts on individuals and their communities.

As we navigate the interconnected web of challenges faced by coffee-farming families, Food 4 Farmers remains dedicated to sowing seeds of change. Through our holistic approach that encompasses food security, environmental sustainability, addressing emigration, and creating opportunities, we strive to empower communities to thrive, not merely survive.

Join us in supporting this transformative journey towards a brighter, sustainable future for coffee farming families by picking up a bag of Propeller’s Skyhawk Blend ($1 per bag sold goes to Food 4 Farmers for the month of February), or by donating directly on our site.

Back to Blog