Colombia: a new generation of coffee entrepreneurs
Those young people can count on support from the project 'A new generation of coffee entrepreneurs'; the successor to 'Education for the Future in Santander', which ran from October 2014 to February 2018. With 100 graduate coffee farmers and 200,000 new coffee plants, that project was a huge success. The logical decision was to continue in the direction we had already taken. Together with our partners (EFICO foundation, FNC and SENA), we went looking for a new and highly promising project – and we found it.
80 young leaders
'A new generation of coffee entrepreneurs' selected 80 new young people from the rural communities of Gambita, Guapota, Guadalupe, Oiba and Suaita, also in the Santander department.
These young people can look forward to receiving utterly professional support, with the aim of using workshops and training sessions to take their knowledge of coffee cultivation to a higher level. This will turn their coffee farms into model businesses featuring excellent levels sustainability and profitability. And the young people themselves, including 5 FARC victims, will become role models for the community as a whole, with around 3,520 people expected to benefit from the positive impact of the project.
This project is addressing the current challenges facing the coffee sector: sustainability, productivity, ageing plantations and climate change.
Unlike previous projects, this one will focus on taking objective measurements to establish how happy the coffee farmers are.
It is important that the young people are enjoying coffee cultivation, so that they can make a good living from it and feel positive about themselves. That is the only way to ensure that coffee cultivation will continue; if we can manage that, we can call the project a real success.
Setting the bar high
The project has a wide range of objectives, from social to economic and environmental. In a nutshell:
- Planting an additional 396,000 coffee plants over a 3-year period.
- Rainforest Alliance certificates for 30 of the 80 coffee plantations.
- Training the young people in good agricultural practices (GAP).
- Supporting them to successfully develop productive plantations, based on soil analyses.
- Above all, ensuring the 80 young people become leaders at the end of the project, including establishing a young people’s association, helping to strengthen the social aspect in the region.