A coffee education: Olam partners with TechnoServe to upskill Guatemala’s coffee farmers
4,000 smallholder farmers in the remote growing region of Huehuetenango in Guatemala will benefit from technical training and resources designed to raise coffee quality and livelihoods.
The partnership between Olam Coffee, part of olam food ingredients (ofi), and international non-profit TechnoServe, as part of the Maximizing Opportunities in Coffee and Cacao in the Americas (MOCCA) Project, will deliver a comprehensive training programme to equip farmers with knowledge and skills to improve their productivity and incomes, with access to higher-value markets.
Eighteen field staff from Olam and TechnoServe will work alongside the farmers, delivering training on everything from agricultural practices and farm renovation to waste-water management and post-harvest techniques. Higher yields and quality standards will open up opportunities for farmers to secure premiums from certification and specialty markets, while lowering their production costs.
During the harvest period, the focus of the programme will switch to connecting the producers directly to markets to sell their beans, instead of the usual route via multiple intermediaries. Field staff will train and register farmers on Olam Direct, a digital buying platform that gives farmers the ability to negotiate and do business directly with Olam, and access information on daily market prices so that they retain more value from their crop. For Olam, the platform provides a traceability tool and captures data on the programme’s activities that will feed into the economic metrics of AtSource – the company’s sustainability insights platform – which will be used to track and monitor progress.