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Coffee Break Ep. 4: Youth

Coffee Break Episode 4: Youth

Written By:ICP Team
Date:21 August 2019

The Importance of Youth in Coffee

We invite you to take a Coffee Break with us to better understand the motivations and aims behind each ICP shareholder, other partners, and of course, farmers. So join us, pull up a seat, grab a cup of your favorite coffee, and enjoy this important Coffee Break! Today we join Chairperson of International Coffee Partners (ICP) and Chair of Löfbergs of Sweden, Kathrine Löfberg who has devoted her career to working with youth. For ICP, much like Löfbergs, youth is a key aspect of sustainability programming. As a result, ICP believes that youth are the future of coffee, and we need to engage with them to have meaningful discussions. With this vital dialogue, we can adequately recognize the needs and challenges of youth. Some of these hurdles include feeling undervalued, often with limited access to land, financing, education, services, and infrastructure. Therefore, ICP, along with its implementing partner Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, work together with coffee-farming families to enable a resilient, long-term future by providing resources, services, and valuable trainings.“It’s very important to have farmers involved in these discussions when it comes to topics of livelihoods, climate change, youth migration, and others because farmers can say what is happening in the field.” Karina, a young coffee farmer from Honduras states. Adding, “because of this important discussion, we now have started a dialogue that has the potential to create new ideas and hope.”

Löfbergs has been doing this with their initiative “Next Generation Coffee” in which also coffee from young farmers participating in ICP-projects can be found since 2016. By encouraging young farmers to see a positive future in coffee, ICP is shedding light on the importance of youth inclusion. “Good coffee is not a certainty. As the climate is changing and fewer young people are seeing a future as coffee farmers. To secure good coffee in the future, we need to get the next generation to see a positive future in coffee. We (ICP), work together with the youth, give them training and tools to meet the climate changes, increase productivity, and improve quality. Also, to become more professional as both farmers and entrepreneurs.” Says Kathrine Löfberg.

Working together in this pre-competitive way, ICP has been able to make a lasting impact with youth and coffee-growing communities by reaching over 82,945 families since 2001. With the new ICP 5-year plan, the shareholders are committed to continue this valuable work with youth in coffee-growing regions. As a result, Kathrine leaves us with these optimistic words:

"When the livelihood is improved, it becomes more attractive to farm coffee. So, I am very optimistic, working together as we do within International Coffee Partners. I think we will be able to enjoy great coffee also in the future."