Full of beans: coffee’s new generation
Raise your reusable mugs, people: today is International Coffee Day, a day that brings together coffee lovers around the globe to celebrate their love of coffee and recognise the millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on it.
This year, the International Coffee Organisation is working to highlight the plight of coffee farmers, the threat they’re facing to their livelihoods and the need to take collective action, such as consumers ensuring that they only buy coffee that’s been produced and sourced ethically. Many coffee farmers are simply not earning enough to provide for themselves and their families and it’s feared they may have to stop producing coffee altogether – which also puts the coffee we love to drink at risk.
The coffee price crisis has only been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of this, there’s not only a serious threat to the livelihoods of coffee farmers today, but also a dramatic risk to the future of coffee tomorrow. An increasing number of young people in coffee farming households are moving away from the family business to other locations and jobs that they see as more promising for their future.
Nonetheless, young people in the industry remain the main source of innovation, sustainable and impactful ideas and job creation – investing in youth in the coffee sector means investing in the sustainable future of the coffee industry.
Looking to the future
International Coffee Day 2020 will serve as a platform to launch the “Coffee’s Next Generation” program that will support selected young entrepreneurs in the coffee sector to develop and grow their innovative and impact-driven ventures. The program intends to provide a combination of financial support with skills development and training, to ensure the sustainability of innovative youth-led ventures in the coffee sector.
It’s hoped that investing in young people will generate both innovative and sustainable solutions for the coffee sector and those who work in it, while also helping to positively impact local coffee-growing communities. The program will also work to help reduce the lack of engagement of young people in coffee farming, as well as reinforcing and promoting young people’s contribution to the development of the sector.
There are a number of ways to get involved in the “Coffee’s Next Generation” program, from donations and educational support to knowledge sharing and partnerships. The International Coffee Organisation will be releasing more detailed information on the program in the weeks to come. In the meantime, to find out more about “Coffee’s Next Generation” program and register your interest, head to internationalcoffeeday.org