With National Coffee Day proceeds, Coffee Kids brews opportunities for next-gen growers
The organization ensures youth in Tanzania, Colombia and Central America have a sustainable coffee supply for their future — and their community’s.
National Coffee Day isn't the only reason to grab that extra cup of java. Sipping on your favorite caffeinated brew on Friday can also benefit the next generation of coffee farmers.
Millions across the globe cannot function without coffee — including the farmers who grow it and are increasing in age. That’s why on National Coffee Day Friday, Coffee Kids is partnering with coffee shops around the country to celebrate this unofficial holiday beyond giveaways and marketing ploys.
Coffee Kids, which was originally founded in 1988 to provide a better quality of life for Latin America growers, shifted its focus to the future generation when it became an independent program of nonprofit Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung in 2015.
“Since then, it’s really been really focused on young adults in coffee-producing communities, giving them the resources to be productive contributors and coffee farmers and ensuring a sustainable coffee supply for the future and sustainability in the community,” said Joanna Furgiuele, Coffee Kids’ fundraising and program manager.
The organization currently works with about 300 young adults between the ages of 16 and 30 in Tanzania, Colombia and in the Trifinio region of Central America, where the borders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador meet. An additional 90 are slated to join in Tanzania in the coming weeks.
“The training is a combination of agricultural and technical skills, as well as business and entrepreneurship, understanding cost and profit, how to develop a savings account, how to write a business plan and understand return on investment,” Furgiuele said.
Oftentimes, the young adults “are more seen as the help on the farm, not necessarily the ones that have much responsibility or say in how that land is cultivated or decisions that are being made,” she added.
Coffee Kids’ mentorships show the older community members that the youth is interested in investing in their community — and often in ways that supplement income from coffee, which is only harvested once a year.
Those side businesses generally operate around coffee and agriculture, Furgiuele said, and range from providing harvesting supplies and roasting their own coffee to raising farm animals.
Several coffee shops in New York City will support Coffee Kids on National Coffee Day Friday.
Blank Slate in NoMad will donate all proceeds to the organization, as will several merchants at the pop-up European-style plaza in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. Those include Bien Cuit, Café Grumpy, Financier Patisserie, Great Northern Food Hall’s Brownsville Roasters, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, Joe Coffee, Oren’s Daily Roast, Shake Shack and Zaro’s Family Bakery.
Nobletree Coffee in the World Trade Center will also donate 20 percent of proceeds to Coffee Kids.
The donations will support the organization’s programs, including financing youth business plans in Colombia and supporting the new recruits in Tanzania.
To find a participating shop here or nationwide, visit coffeekids.org/ncdguide.