We celebrate the work our producer-partners put into growing, harvesting and processing their coffee. There is a genuine joy in being able to roast, serve and brew their coffee when it arrives in the UK - but there is no escaping the effect that COVID-19 has had on the global coffee industry.
Coffee producers were already facing challenges from climate change, pests and an unfavourable commercial market price versus rising costs of production. The effects of COVID19 on coffee production have been far-reaching, with producers facing labour shortages due to movement restrictions, issues accessing credit, rising costs of agrochemical inputs and problems transporting their coffee post-harvest. Even with having overcome these challenges, there is a global shortfall of demand as hospitality businesses continue to be restricted or shut down to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. In Huehuetenango, coffee is often the major cash-crop for producers, so it is fair to say that all of these factors combined to create an unsustainable state of affairs.
As we are committed to sustainable and ethical sourcing at Caravan, we continue to honour and commit to our existing relationships and to paying fair prices for our coffees. We accept that we are obliged to take responsibility and step up to the plate when working in an industry that is dependant on the hard work of farmers who now face extreme economic pressure.
Our long-time Guatemala partner Primavera Coffee have organized a relief fund to support coffee producers. With every bag of Maria Ramirez’s coffee sold, CCR will be donating £1 to the Primavera COVID19 Farmer Relief fund, which Primavera will then match. This fund is being used to provide food baskets to coffee-producing families through this time of economic crisis. Primavera has spoken to the farmers and asked what they need most, and as a result have targeted their action towards relieving short term food insecurity. This also allows farmers to free up resources towards other critical needs.
We believe that everyone in the speciality coffee value chain has a part to play in overturning the historically exploitative paradigm which has prevented the fair return of value, empathy and support to those who do the most challenging job of all - growing the coffee we love.