BERLIN, Germany — International Coffee Partners (ICP), a pre-competitive organization of eight like-minded coffee companies with Neumann Gruppe as a founding member, has hosted a panel discussion during the World of Coffee in Berlin, the recent get-together of global coffee aficionados.
ICP’s chairperson Kathrine Löfberg of Swedish roaster Löfbergs and Jörn Severloh of Neumann Gruppe, the world’s leading green coffee service group, discussed with coffee farmers Karina Orellana from Honduras and Christopher Mujabi from Uganda how to find common understandings and a path forward.
After defining the often-used term “farmer livelihoods”, the panelist talked about current challenges for farmers and what organizations like ICP can do to help meet those challenges.
With producers facing issues of climate change, migration of the younger generations to urban areas, and fluctuating coffee prices, it has become increasingly difficult for smallholder farmers to be successful and sustainable.
Jörn Severloh (Neumann Gruppe) pointed out: “A farm needs to be regarded as a family enterprise.” He underlined that the aim of ICP’s work is to strengthen the farmer livelihoods by building long-term relationships. The farmers emphasized that practical training to maximize the crop is much needed, as well as solutions to convince young people to become coffee farmers. All panelists agreed on the importance of educating consumers to recognize the value of all the work that is being done in the coffee origins and to be willing to pay more for their coffee.
With this innovative format, a new and pioneering dialogue between industry leaders and smallholder coffee farmers has been initiated and the full house and keen questions indicated the event’s timeliness.
Yet, ICP is by far no new idea: since its foundation in 2001, its members have been working together for a more prosperous future for farming families. About 83.000 families in 12 countries have already benefitted from ICP’s work. Currently, ICP consist of founding members Neumann Gruppe (Germany), Lavazza (Italy), Löfbergs (Sweden), Paulig (Finland), and Tchibo (Germany), as well as Joh. Johannson Kaffe (Norway), Franck (Croatia) and Delta Cafés (Portugal).
Additionally, ICP works under a strategic partnership with the foundation Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung as the implementer of its projects worldwide and administrator of the organization.