TechnoServe is Named 2020 Coffee Charity of the Year

The National Coffee Association recently named TechnoServe the “Origin Charity of the Year” for our work supporting smallholder coffee farmers around the world.

A coffee farmer in Honduras picks coffee cherries.

For more than five decades, TechnoServe has worked with coffee farmers in Africa and Latin America, helping them access the skills and resources they need to produce high-quality coffee. Farmers are then able to earn a better income, opening the door to new opportunities that extend far beyond the farm.

The National Coffee Association — the leading trade organization for the coffee industry in the United States — recently recognized TechnoServe’s work to improve the incomes of smallholder coffee farmers through stronger and more sustainable value chains. The “Origin Charity of the Year” award recognizes organizations that have made a positive impact on coffee-growing communities around the world.

TechnoServe is a shining example of how coffee companies, development experts, and the farmers themselves are working together to fight poverty, build capacity, and strengthen coffee-growing communities.”
— William ‘Bill’ Murray, NCA president and CEO

“12.5 million families across Africa, Latin America and Asia depend on coffee to earn a living, and many of them face challenges of shrinking farms and declining productivity, says Paul Stewart, TechnoServe’s global coffee director. “But we have seen time and again in our work that the coffee industry can play a vital role in creating real change.”

Our Approach

TechnoServe’s approach to coffee work addresses four key areas: better farming; better business; better supply chains; and better environment. On the farm, TechnoServe has trained over 400,000 coffee farmers on agronomy best practices, helping them improve their productivity and income. On the business side, we have helped farmers construct 266 new coffee-processing businesses and advised more than 760 existing businesses. We have also worked with key partners across the supply chain to resolve common issues such as access to finance and transparency. Finally, our approach promotes simple, cost-effective solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges farmers today face.

We have seen time and again in our work that the coffee industry can play a vital role in creating real change.”
— Paul Stewart, TechnoServe global coffee director

Where We Work

In Zimbabwe, TechnoServe partnered with Nespresso to revive the country’s coffee industry by providing smallholder coffee farmers with training in coffee agronomy, processing, and sustainability. The program is working to enable farmers to adopt best practices, increase production volumes, and improve crop quality to gain access to international specialty coffee markets.

Fanuel Munuku and his wife, Elizabeth Nyamadzwo, are coffee farmers in Zimbabwe’s Honde Valley. They have two young children, and have been able to support their growing family with income from their coffee crop. “We saw our parents come for the training and thought that this project is good, and that we should take over [the coffee nursery] for our parents,” recalls Fanuel.

A group of coffee farmers in Zimbabwe's Honde Valley.
Fanuel Munyuku (right) and Elizabeth Nyamadzwo (second from right) are coffee farmers in Zimbabwe’s Honde Valley.

In Honduras, TechnoServe is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve the competitiveness of small and medium coffee producers by increasing agricultural productivity and quality on the farm, improving access to information and high-value markets, developing the capacity of producer organizations, and strengthening the local, regional, and international coffee market.

“The coffee industry depends on a strong partnership with farmers,” says William ‘Bill’ Murray, NCA president and CEO. “TechnoServe is a shining example of how coffee companies, development experts, and the farmers themselves are working together to fight poverty, build capacity, and strengthen coffee-growing communities.”

Added TechnoServe President and CEO Will Warshauer: “It has been an honor for TechnoServe to work alongside thousands of smallholder coffee farmers to build better markets that improve incomes, lives, and communities. We owe it to these farmers to be obsessive about measurable results that last long after we leave, and we are grateful to the NCA for recognizing this approach with the Origin Charity of the Year Award.”

Learn more about TechnoServe’s coffee work in Africa and Latin America.