FIRST ANNUAL REPORT
A lot of people have perceived the year 2020 as notoriously challenging, in particular, due to the repercussions of the epidemic across the global economy and also how it has affected ourselves in several aspects; it has been a shaking year for most economic sectors. Regarding the coffee chain of production, the pandemic has meant a huge costs increase over logistics and pressure for all, roasters, traders, consumers and particularly the small coffee producers.
During the first trimester (2020), the announcement of the restriction measures to deal with the spread of the pandemic generated great uncertainty in the markets, plus the change in the consumer patterns in coffee consumption, but also the potential increase of unemployment causing people to consume less coffee than usual even at home; meanwhile at the origin the coffee bags started to pile up at the warehouses and ports since the shipments were reduced.
By the second trimester (May – Agu), the situation at the farms was tense, since it became hard for many producers to keep paying labour and at the same time, the roasters and clients asked to delay or cancel their orders and contracts.
While most local governments imposed strict rules which didn’t allow producers to get to their farms for weeks unless they had a negative PCR test (Covid19 test), which for many Farmers it was impossible to get as its price was more than they make in a month, as it happened with many producers in Honduras. Sadly, other coffee-producing countries have suffered logistic complications that damaged the stability of the coffee economy and the smallholders stopped income.
The overall situation seemed to be better during the last trimester since the mobility restrictions of the agronomic sector were reduced and allowed workers to continue labour in the farms, storages. still, many producers continued having difficulties trading their coffee and fulfil deadlines.
During November, besides the impact from Covid19, several locations in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua were devastated by hurricanes (Eta and Iota); hitting important touristic and coffee producing areas, destroying entire farms and crops due to continuous floods. However, before the pandemic, most of the farmers were lacking enough organization or support from local government to face the incidence of natural disasters as well as the uncertainty of the markets; we wonder how much farmers can continue their struggle considering there are no new strategies and lack of action to improve the current fails of the coffee industry.
We have been doing our part by supporting our producers with constant technical and social support but help is not enough as resources are limited. We would like to be part of a different perspective of the coffee industry making consumers and roasters to address and relate with the smallholder’s reality and livelihood, support will reach the producers.
We have been encouraging the producers to adopt better agricultural practices that nurture their soil and coffee production in a better way. Introducing organic fertilization and environmental awareness.
The first step after getting in touch with a potential collaborating farmer is asking the “right questions” regarding their socioeconomic situation, characteristics of the farm and the plantation among other issues of interest, respecting the privacy and sensibilities of farmers and their families. Collection of this information allows us to understand their circumstances, skills and needs, as well as building individual profiles and create a database that would serve us to provide better support for future farmers.
After months of offering tuition interacting with producers and building the database; we have been noticing a wide range of differences among producers’ regarding their circumstances, motivations, goals and problems. Considering the info from our database and what we know about the characteristics of the countries/ regions where the collaborating farmers live and other factors such their, religion, education level, governments, ethnicity, climate and economy; we have created practical programmes of work/tuition for our producers to support them effectively and transparently, making corrections according to the circumstances.
Our programme has 2 main areas of work:
- Agro-biology: through practical agronomic and biological insight we have been creating instructive comprehensive and educational material for producers regarding sustainable farming practices and disease identification and control, proper use of shade and secondary crops, chemical and organic fertilization among other important topics that might improve efficiency in the farm.
- Coffee Quality: Besides the agronomic topics, the producer shall be aware of the sensory side of coffee so they can understand the factors that may affect the quality of their harvest and also get to know the correlation between quality and price and the buyer’s perspective.
Inside Job Coffee operates offering remote and free tuition to smallholders otherwise don’t receive assistance from local public or private institutions. We are in constant communication with the producers providing and collecting vital information in order to support the farmers in agricultural (and sometimes personal) matters; respecting the privacy of the farmers.
Inside Job Coffee has achieved channels of collaboration among smallholders, local traders and roasters to promote a direct-fair trade among the actors in the value stream of coffee. Through us, the farmer gets to understand the trading process beyond the farm and the quality requested by potential clients. The farmers can improve their connection with local markets and get more attention over their harvest.
We thank the collaborator companies during 2020 which help Inside Job Coffee to achieve more than expected in our first year, without them we couldn’t have been able to aim this high.
Especial Thanks to
XICOFFEE ( Mexican roasters) for supporting us, helping us with the logistics and buying directly from our feature Producer Armando Reyes.
CAFE Y CIENCIA ( Venezuelan Platform) they donate Coffee Cherry meters (CEREZOMETRO) which will part of our Producers kit to be released during this year. Soon we will release these stories at large.
Besides offering tuition to farmers, we have created a brand new website focused in information to the general public about coffee topics in the form of blogs and audiovisual content prepared for our team to get informed about the advances in our programs with the producers. Technical and educational content will be available as free downloadable content which provides guidance to any producer who needs them.
This year so far it’s been one of the toughest globally, regardless Covid19 situation we were able to support our producers with limited resources achieving our goals for the year. We shall prepare periodical reports showing our advances and use of time and available resources during our quest to fulfil the goal of Inside job coffee.
Armando, our featured producer will be able now to fertilize at least 3.500 plants as well as his coffee nursery as he has been provided with technical support including agricultural disease control. We were focusing more on the health of his soil so we could prepare a bespoke agricultural programme.
Inside Job Coffee also supported the producer’s programme with a Kickstarter grant agricultural materials equivalent to his annual profit, proof enough of the deep crisis affecting the weakest part of the chain, The small producer and also makes us think of the huge inequity in profit within the Coffee industry.
2021, Armando has learned more about agricultural practices and also about social care, we were remotely spending time with him and his family. We will keep following his development closely as our programmes are meant to be for as long as it requires to ensure the producer actual development.
This year we believe we can do more so we need your help, soon we will be letting you all know how can you support us directly and get involved.
Inside Job Coffee – Social Enterprise.