Tuesday 04 October 2022

Katherine Löfberg: Securing tomorrow’s morning coffee

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A year ago, Katherine Löfberg (in the picture) was appointed chairman of the board of the 110-year-old family company Löfbergs. She is now taking over the chairman’s gavel of International Coffee Partners.

From the start in 2001, International Coffee Partners has worked together with more than 30,000 farmers to make smallholder coffee farming more competitive and to improve livelihoods for coffee farmers all over the world.

– We have seen an amazing development during the first 15 years of International Coffee Partners. We started off in a cautious way with two projects, but today we have a really systematic and structured process. We have started 23 projects in 12 countries; both smaller projects and larger, more regional projects. We have reached more than 30,000 coffee farmers, whose incomes have doubled or even trebled.

Coffee – a commodity under threat

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world and is truly affected by the climate changes. Flooding and draught are increasing, and it is getting harder for coffee farmers to earn a living on their farming. More than two thirds of the 25 million coffee farmers in the world are smallholder farmers. Except for climate changes, the flexible green coffee prices are also a great challenge for the farmers, which leads to even more people of the next generation leaving the family’s coffee farm to move into the cities.

– Löfbergs co-founded International Coffee Partners because we want to take responsibility from bean to cup, but also because the climate changes and the coffee farmers’ livelihoods are by far our greatest sustainability challenges. In the end, it is about making sure that there is really good coffee for us to buy in the future, which is something we work with in our own value chain as well as within International Coffee Partners, says Katherine Löfberg.

75,000 farmers to be reached by 2018

International Coffee Partners goals and methods fits well into the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Goals, SDG’s) that was launched in 2015. The SDG´s focus on eradicating poverty and hunger, securing human rights for all, achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls and protecting the planet and its natural resources.

– As chairman of International Coffee Partners I will focus on scaling up and getting even better exchange on the successful working methods we have developed, especially with focus on projects that increase the coffee farmers’ profitability and productivity to make sure that the next generation has the opportunity to continue farming coffee and make a good living on it. It is about having a good life as a coffee farmer. Our family’s vision with the company is good moments for future generations, and that naturally includes coming generations of coffee farmers too, says Katherine Löfberg.

About International Coffee Partners

International Coffee Partners (ICP) is an initiative founded by five leading European coffee companies, Gustav Paulig Ltd. of Finland, Löfbergs Lila of Sweden, Luigi Lavazza S.p.A. of Italy, Neumann Gruppe GmbH of Germany and Tchibo GmbH of Germany in 2001. In 2011, Joh. Johannson Kaffe AS of Norway joined the partnership and since 2014, Franck d.d. of Croatia is a member.

The vision is to make smallholder coffee farming more competitive to improve the living conditions for the farmers and their families through concrete projects with a strong local ownership. For more information, please visit the International Coffee Partners website

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