HRNS is an exclusive implementing partner for International Coffee Partners (ICP), so sometimes we in headquarters, get the opportunity to travel to origin to visit with farmers, partners, and all the key players of the region. When the chance arose to travel to Brazil we immediately started planning with our local team the itinerary.
This time around, however, we wanted to spend as much time as possible visiting with the families who grow our coffee, the families we work with every day, the families who just want to benefit from a level playing field that leads them to an improved way of life for them and their families. With that in mind, we wanted to give you some impressions from this trip. There are far too many stories to mention here in this post but these stories will be told and given the platform they deserve.
If we had to choose one word to describe this trip it would be “emotional”. From the time we spent at Casa da Criança which works with at-risk youth in the region and gives them a fighting chance in life; to the story of José, a first generation coffee farmer who lost his job as a driver because he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. These stories were not only emotional to listen to but we also felt a sense of joy in the fact that the work we are doing has helped these families even if in the slightest way. Their strength and determination through life’s hardships shines through their big smiles, open hearts, and welcoming attitude.
A common thread through several of the families we met was the amount of loss they experienced. Not of material or monetary, but of life. We met up with Simone from Amecafé an all-female farmer organization, who has overcome a personal hardship. As a strong female leader, she has turned her pain and grief into producing the best coffee she can and speaking about the importance of Amecafé. Another story that touched us was that of Daniella, her father Antonio was a well-known figure in the coffee farming world and within our foundations family. He had won several Força Café Coffee Championships and was an enthusiastic participant in our projects. However, just a short time ago he passed away and Daniella spoke of that loss and how she made it her life’s mission to continue her fathers legacy.
It’s difficult sometimes to look back and reflect on what we have experienced when we have to reduce it to a few words and maybe a few pictures, but that is why each and every story is important and why we will tell every single one. Over the next weeks and months, we will share these stories across all our platforms, (HRNS, ICP, and coffee&climate), with the hope that these stories shine a light on the importance of ensuring the families who grow our coffee have the same opportunities we do.
We end this post now with just some of the images from the trip.