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.

Coffee Pulp Soda?!

An accustomed Wednesday morning in San Antonio Huista, Huehuetenango, Guatemala always starts with a traditional breakfast of eggs, black beans and plantains, and an early visit to the local market to get fresh food for the day. Today was different. The busiest street...

From Crop To Cup In Tanzania Part II

Together with our partners Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung is working with young coffee farmers around the world. Coffee is a great and popular drink and we do not only support young coffee farmers' future, we are also ensuring young coffee drinkers like Vanessa...

Brazil: An Emotional Journey

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...

The sweet taste of honey at the foots of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

Our program Coffee Kids aims to empower young coffee farmers to create thriving businesses. This it how they do it in Tanzania: Proud and with a smile, 27-year old Jehovaness is holding up an Arabica seedling from her own nursery. Her business plan is written on...

Ending Invisibility of Women On Colombian Coffee Farms

Without women there would be no coffee. All too often we forget their role in coffee production. They are present in almost 100% of the farms and active in the different production processes. But their participation in decision-making, in participation in...

How We Make Gender Work in the Ivory Coast

A coffee plant in a Hamburg office building: Our team member Hermann Kouassi from Ivory Coast is well surprised; “It is very good to see it growing even here. But we have better cherries”, he smiles.

Investing in Youth in Coffee Growing Communities

Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), SAFE and the Sustainable Food Lab conducted a review of current programs and practices to support youth in coffee growing communities in Latin America. From the executive summary: "The issue of sustainability in the coffee sector has...

20 Million Women To Address Climate Change In Coffee

One of the most impactful ways to promote sustainable development in coffee households and producer communities is to drive change for women! Strengthening their rights, supporting their participation in household decision-making, incorporating them into farmer...

Els in the Field

“Can we have both of them in the shot for the interview?” I asked Els while setting up the camera, nodding to the change agent couples sitting a few meters away from us. They were waiting to be interviewed by Els Lecoutere, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of...

Sustainability Dialogues: interview with Jan von Enden

Our team member Jan von Enden got the opportunity to talk about Sustainability in the coffee sector in the "Sustainability Dialogues"-Podcast produced by the Sustainable Agriculture Network - SAN. Topics were the challenges and trends of the coffee...