This annual microlot is the work of 33 young coffee producers, ages 15 through 39, from the Youth Committee of the Unión de Organizaciones Ocotepecanas de Café (UNIOCAFE) who are participating in the Coffee Kids program.
For every pound of this coffee InterAmerican buys, we pay a 10-cent premium back to the producers. For this 2019 lot, through International Coffee Day (Oct. 1), we're also donating 50 percent of profits on sales of this coffee back to the Coffee Kids program—which is working to double its efforts in Huehuetenango.
UNIOCAFE is a producer association in the Ocotepeque region of Western Honduras, and its umbrella organization supports 28 producer groups, representing more than 1,000 coffee farmers.
Since 2007, UNIOCAFE has invested in its producer network by providing training, financing and access to coffee buyers. In 2016, UNIOCAFE expanded its programs to focus on empowering youth, promoting gender equity and addressing climate change — and were identified as an ideal group for the Coffee Kids program to team with. Currently, UNIOCAFE provides young producers with best-practices training in coffee cultivation, cupping and coffee quality, as well as processing and preparation for export. At the same time, the youth are learning how to develop strong organizational and business skills.
The Coffee Kids Program
Coffee Kids is a program of the coffee nonprofit foundation Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), which has been working with farmer associations in the Trifino region of Central America—the shared border of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Its goal is to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit in young farmers, to encourage them to believe in themselves and to help ensure better livelihoods for them and their families.
Through Rural Business Workshops, Coffee Kids provides not only agronomy and quality-control training, but also business mentoring and access to financing. Globally (in Trifinio, Colombia and Tanzania), Coffee Kids now includes more than 250 young people and strongly believes that if the creativity, innovation and passion of young people is supported, they'll have the capacity to adapt to the challenges ahead.
Cupping notes: Melon, papaya, strawberry, caramel; good body, juicy acidity. (3.20.19)