Coffee & Cocoa

Bittersweet symphony: Two crucial tropical agricultural commodities.


Michael Opitz
Managing Director


Coffee: one of our planet’s most relevant commodities, worth well above USD 100 billion per year, coming in second after oil. The most important producing countries are Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, India, and Uganda. Worldwide coffee consumption is on the rise. The pleasure we get from drinking coffee is bringing about greater demand, which puts increasing pressure on natural resources. At the same time, this demand offers great opportunities to producers. It's clear that more efficient and sustainable ways of coffee production are needed - continuing business as usual will not support such growth.

Cocoa has a lot in common with coffee. In addition to sharing many origin countries, this bean serves as raw material for the estimated USD 110 billion per year chocolate industry. The key producer is the Côte d’Ivoire, where more than a third of the world’s cocoa is grown, followed by Ghana and Indonesia.

Both crops grow on trees and are mainly produced by smallholder farmers: farmers that work with an average of 1.5 hectares of land. Experts estimate that around 20 million farmers produce coffee, and 5 to 6 million smallholders grow cocoa, but their market is a challenging one. Our beans are at stake.



The farmers are not only characterized by their small farm size, but also by a lack of access to information, finance, inputs, markets, and technology – and by earning only an extremely small share of these sectors' global value. Coffee and cocoa can improve rural livelihoods, if we invest in the large basis of smallholder farmers. The future of coffee and cocoa depends on knowledgeable, efficient and well-organized farmers who are able to increase yield and improve coffee and cocoa quality, while caring for precious natural resources, interacting with supply chain partners on a level playing field, and nurturing families who produce and access the food they require. We are committed to supporting farmers as they achieve this. We are also committed to building a bridge between consuming countries and farming families, for the benefit of both sides.


approach element

Read more about our approach in coffee and cocoa producing communities:

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Strengthening professional capacity building of Cocoa Farmers

A large share of cocoa is produced by small-scale farmers on small farms. The farmers' lack of access to know-how, service providers, and financing make them very vulnerable to price volatility and increases their dependence on intermediaries, further reducing their already low income.

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