What's it like to be a coffee farmer?

Every coffee-producing country is different, but most farmers face major challenges when it comes to feeding their families and balancing farm work with basic needs. A report from the Specialty Coffee Association provides a global glimpse at some of those challenges:

  • Most coffee growing households receive only one annual paycheck for their crop, and it’s often less than their annual spending needs.
  • In extreme situations, coffee producing families run out of savings and are forced to choose between food and a roof over their heads.
  • Coffee farmers live at the mercy of coffee price fluctuations in the global market, and thus feel an immediate and severe impact on their livelihoods when prices plummet.
  • Farmers face enormous agricultural risks to their coffee harvest, including unfavorable weather conditions, pests, and disease outbreaks.

But there are many deeper stories behind those bullet points. Beyond statistics, we love sharing stories from some of the farmers we’ve been fortunate to partner with for several years now, individuals who--rising above the challenges they’ve faced--express amazing resilience and commitment to their chosen craft.


Related blog archives:

The Power of Collaboration | Jose Perez Vazquez

Growing Organic Coffee in Chenalho, Chiapas, Mexico | Jose Perez Vazquez

Supporting Gender Equality in Eastern Congo | Herman Chirihimbali Lwango