COLOGNE, Germany – The final workshop for the joint project “Improving working and living conditions for coffee smallholders in Colombia” by 4C Services GmbH and Melitta Europa GmbH & Co. KG – Division Coffee was held on April 25th, 2023 in Santa Marta, Colombia.
The project “Improving working and living conditions for coffee smallholders in Colombia”
The workshop was aimed at showcasing the achievements and impacts of the project and was attended by representatives from all companies involved in the project management, including Doctor Norbert Schmitz, Managing Director of 4C Services, Jan Rischkopf, Sustainability Manager at Melitta Europe – Coffee Division, Mario Vega Roa, Regional Commercial Director of the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and Edilberto Rafael Álvarez, Executive Director of the FNC Magdalena Coffee Committee.
Over 50 participants, including project beneficiaries and other relevant stakeholders from the Colombian coffee sector came together to participate in the event. The workshop discussed the objectives and outcomes of the project and allowed beneficiaries to share and exchange their experiences.
An exchange of best practices and tools was facilitated and the workshop concluded with a presentation on anchoring and disseminating project results. Following the workshop, representatives from 4C and Melitta spent two days visiting project beneficiaries on their farms to get a first-hand impression of the project impacts and gather feedback on its implementation.
The objective of the three-year project was to establish sustainable farm management for Colombian coffee smallholders to contribute to their long-term economic and ecological viability. It also aimed to increase the attractiveness of the coffee-growing sector for young adults and improve market access in Europe, thus increasing farmers’ incomes and improving their livelihoods. A major milestone of the project was the inclusion of coffee produced by project beneficiaries in Melitta’s “Selection of the Year 2023”.
Over the course of the project, nearly 600 on-farm individual and group trainings, as well as online workshops, were conducted by 4C and the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC).
“The trainings provided by the project have allowed me to continue with the legacy of my parents, which for me is very important. I have my own coffee brand and the project has taught me how to further promote the products of my coffee farm” said Yesenia Goméz Almanza, a young coffee farmer in Magdalena.
Income diversification was an important topic of the project and was addressed through trainings dedicated to young adults. These trainings focused on growing diversified crops, production of coffee-related products like honey as well as promoting touristic offers. Furthermore, the beneficiaries received support in form of material goods which together with the technical knowledge acquired in the trainings equipped them to implement effective management systems and adopt more sustainable practices. As a result 504 small coffee farmers achieved the 4C certification during the project.
4C is a leading sustainability certification scheme for the entire coffee sector. 4C certification focuses on good agricultural and management practices, including requirements on economic, social and environmental conditions for coffee production and processing in order to establish credible sustainable and transparent supply chains.
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About Melitta Europa GmbH & Co. KG – Division Coffee
Melitta is a traditional brand with joie de vivre, a focus on the consumer and the courage to change. With a long history of coffee expertise and innovation, Melitta is a leading brand in the European coffee market. The Coffee division of Melitta Europa GmbH & Co. KG offers the perfect coffee for every taste – from filter coffee to instant cappuccino and whole beans for fully automatic coffee machines, from ranges of coffee pods for making individual cups of coffee to speciality coffees from the Melitta Manufaktur. Sustainability is a basic ethos for us. For example we support community projects in coffee growing countries every year.