Everyone knows that the coffee industry is constantly growing, but the amount of coffee professionals available is not growing with it. This can only end in one way.

In countries around the world the average age of a coffee farmer is very high, in Indonesia the average age is 60 and in Colombia it is 50, showing a reduction in younger generations joining the coffee farm industry and when you look at the facts it isn’t difficult to see why. One reason for generations withdrawing from the industry is the impact of coffee prices on income. For example in Africa the price of one pound of coffee on the international market is 1.15 US Dollar but the average cost of production for one pound of coffee is around 1.80 US Dollars. This is obviously creating a low income for coffee farmers and scaring the majority of people off.

To add to this, younger people and women are very much at a disadvantage when it comes to growing coffee, as both groups only have access to a limited amount of resources available to them such as land, technology and credit. Women also have less access to training and extension programmes, yet women do the majority of the work, making it such an unappealing place to work. What makes this information more shocking is that studies clearly show that if women had the same resources that men do and were able to receive “improved seed varieties, new technologies and better farming practices” then this would result in a 30 per cent per household increase in yield.

Our own brand Puro is always delivering a fair price to coffee farmers to help provide families with enough income to reinvest in schools, reforestation and agricultural improvements. Not only that, but by working with the World Land Trust we are able to create partnerships with individuals, communities and organisations to engage support and commitment among the people who live in project areas. We hope by doing this that it will improve the way that coffee farmers are treated and therefore make coffee farming more attractive.

It is clear that strategies such as these need to be carried out globally to ensure we increase the number of younger people and women who become coffee farmers and therefore making sure coffee has a future.

Source: Foxwell, David. “Women: next-generation coffee farmers” Coffee & Cocoa International Mar 2016: 4. Print.