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Our work

Our Work

We strive for a prosperous future of smallholder coffee farming families

The Bottom of the Pyramid

Coffee is produced in more than 60 countries around the world - predominantly by family businesses. They are supplying a constantly growing coffee market. However, they do often not benefit from the increasing sector revenues and the opportunities it brings.

The reasons? Smallholder coffee farming families operate at the lowest market levels, they represent the so-called bottom of the pyramid. Here, they face various challenges: Many family businesses only achieve low productivity levels due to pests and diseases and the effects of climate change, combined with a lack of expertise and support services. Farmers are often weakly organized, have difficulties accessing the market and negotiating on an equal footing, and they are vulnerable to price volatility. To sell their coffee, they depend on middlemen who frequently force them to sell their goods at below-market value. As a result, they can only generate a limited income from growing coffee.

Our aim is to change that.

Coffee harvest
12.4 million

smallholder coffee farming families worldwide form the so-called bottom of the pyramid of the coffee sector.

We Work with Smallholder Coffee Farming Families

Our work focuses on smallholder farming families at the bottom of the pyramid. The goal is for them to improve their livelihoods and achieve a more prosperous future by

  • improving coffee productivity and quality,
  • further developing the production systems in shape, size, management, and diversification,
  • adapting to climate change,
  • internalizing entrepreneurship,
  • strengthening the position in the coffee market,
  • forming and developing farmer organizations,
  • balancing tasks, rights, and responsibilities equally within the household through gender equality,
  • creating perspectives for youth in the succession in the family business,
  • treating natural resources, such as soil, water, and biodiversity, adequately.

Our Holistic Approach

We base our work on the realities of smallholder coffee farming families with all their complexities. Therefore, we do not only focus on improving one aspect but we work holistically, considering family businesses, farmer organizations, climate change, youth, and gender.

Dive deeper into our holistic approach with our Theory of Change!

Theory of Change

Our Principles

We place our emphasis on the human being and people’s perspectives. The idea is to offer farmers help for self-help, developing their ownership while their expectations are being met.

In everything we do, we value respect for the farmer families’ independence.​ That means we do not work opportunistically. Farmer families will always operate their businesses freely.