The 124TH session of the International Coffee Council ( ICC ), largest coffee forum in Nairobi
( 25 – 29 March 2019 ) gathered 115 key coffee stakeholders to encourage dialogue and promote sustainable solutions in the coffee subsector. A commitment budget of USD 30,000,000 (Ksh3 Billion) jointly agreed by the Kenya government, marked a milestone towards supporting smallholder farmers improve focus on quality while improving sustainable coffee cultivation.


Although key coffee stakeholders are showing financial commitments, smallholder farmers are still exposed to other volatilities and other preferences at consumer level that might extend realisation of direct benefits of sustainable coffee farming.


Fluctuating coffee prices have a direct impact on housing, education, food and healthcare in regards to the farmer’s lifestyle. According to Fairtrade, 80% of the world’s coffee is produced by 25million small scale farmers, that makes them vulnerable to economic hardships caused by this price fluctuations in the global coffee price (Known as c price).Better market information systems ( MIS ) with better communication structure can improve farmers resilience cushioning against low sales, high purchases by middle men.


Environmental sustainability is another insistent issue but for now, climate change is a good place to start. According to the Kenyan daily nation, “The production of coffee in Kenya has changed due to erratic weather patterns caused by climate change” Traditionally, the early crop is harvested between May, June and July, while the main crop is harvested between October – December. Due to this factor, early crop might end up harvested in mid-June to July. This eventually effects the lives of our farmers and the market in an endless cycle.


These are issues that need to be efficiently addressed. The question is, do we intend to talk a big game or make a real difference? Can the market support fair wages as well as be environmentally responsible?


Learn on how we can solve more of this issues in our next Connect with farmers blog.


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