Helping Coffee Producers Diversify Their Income with Food 4 Farmers -

Helping Coffee Producers Diversify Their Income with Food 4 Farmers

Posted In: All Posts

 

Coffee buyer, Jess Brooks, recently took a trip to Guatemala with Food 4 Farmers, our partners and $10k donation beneficiary for our most recent Making Coffee Matter release, Organic Café La Abeja. Jess had the opportunity to visit some of the farms that have been learning commercial beekeeping and explains why this program is so important and how it’s helping coffee producers.

It started with an idea for a new blend for our Making Coffee Matter program – bees and coffee, a simple connection, right?  The relationship between the two is anything but simple as I learned on a recent trip visiting the coffee growing cooperatives of Acodihue and Maya Ixil, with Food 4 Farmers.  Spending a week traveling with Food 4 Farmers staff members showed this connection between coffee and honeybees is a complex and layered relationship, the bees not only act as beneficial pollinators, but the fruits of their labors (the honey) provide a much needed additional exportable and locally consumed product.

While coffee production is not dependent on bees – coffee plants are self-pollinating – it does have an impact on coffee quality and overall health of the ecosystem in coffee growing regions.  Simply put – bees impact coffee for the better, both in increasing cup quality and biodiversity of the surrounding the coffee farm.

Food 4 Farmers partnership with coffee producers

But it doesn’t stop there. Honey, and other products derived from the hive, provide a diversification of income so farmers are not solely dependent on coffee as their only source of income.  Sold locally or exported, this can be an important part of a diversified farm.  Honey is also an alternative to processed sugar and can be a nutritional food staple for farming families.  Beekeeping here in coffee growing regions is an avenue to strengthen producer knowledge, diversify income, amplify family health and nutrition, and contribute to community resiliency.

Food 4 Farmers is focused on this – addressing food security and seasonal hunger within these communities by developing programs to increase access to and availability to sufficient and appropriate food.

La Abuja coffee

Allegro has been supporting Food 4 Farmers for several years.  We continue to purchase coffee from the Acodihue and Maya Ixil cooperatives who are actively engaged in the Food 4 Farmers programs.  This partnership between Allegro and the cooperatives is rooted in quality coffee, but it’s equally important, and absolutely necessary for the longevity of specialty coffee in general, to consider the bigger picture – a holistic approach to buying coffee where Food 4 Farmers, the cooperative, and the buyer are interconnected.  Because of this ongoing partnership, we wanted to highlight this connection in a special blend called Organic Café La Abeja.  Coffee from the two cooperatives are combined to create a blend that is bright and sweet, much like the honeys produced by the farmers of Acodihue and Maya Ixil.

Allegro, Food 4 Farmers, Acodihue and Maya Ixil share the same value of helping coffee producers and farmers – it may sound simple at first, but coffee and honeybees can work together to support this value.


More Articles

Coffee and Bluegrass: Our 20+ Year Partnership with...

  A 20+ year partnership means lots of coffee and lots of bluegrass. Our events manager, Chris Rogers, has been at several Planet Bluegrass events over the past four years and explains why our long-lasting relationship has been so great and where you can find us if you're at Folks Fest...

Learn More

Limited Edition Series

Brazil Matão Honey

  We're proud to feature this remarkable group of women for our next Allegro Coffee Roasters Limited Edition Series release. The Matão Mulheres do Café group is composed of 24 women members and located in the southern state of Parana in Brazil. The group was formed in 2013 with just...

Learn More

Easy Iced Tea at Home

  We love having a batch of iced tea on hand during the summer — it's super easy to make! Try it with our Organic Estate Ceylon tea. Steps: Brew 32 oz of hot water with eight bags of tea. Let steep for five minutes. Take the tea bags out and...

Learn More