University of Vermont
In recent years, there has been growing discussion within the specialty coffee industry about the preva- lence of seasonal food insecurity in coffee growing communities. The idea that coffee producers lack re- sources to feed themselves and their families flies in the face of Fair Trade and other sustainable coffee ini- tiatives, which were designed to ensure a viable livelihood and improved conditions for small-scale coffee farmers around the world. Though these certifications represent an important step toward delivering better prices to farmers, they are inadequate tools to stand alone against the formidable and entrenched barriers faced by this population. Small-scale farmers are esti- mated to produce 70% of the world's coffee supply (Eakin et al, 2009), within an industry supported by up to 25 million coffee producers. If you also include coffee harvesters, processors, and industry workers, the total is closer to 100 million people whose livelihoods depend on the crop in some way (Jha et al, 2011).
Caswell, M., V.E. Méndez & C.M. Bacon (2012) Food security and smallholder coffee production: current issues and future directions. ARLG Policy Brief # 1. University of Vermont: Burlington, VT
This publication was funded in part by a grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR).