Sunday 16 January 2022

Tomorrow is the International Coffee Day: This year’s edition celebrates young coffee farmers

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MILAN – Tomorrow, October 1st, is the International Coffee Day. In March 2014, the Member Governments of the ICO agreed to organise the first International Coffee Day on 1 October 2015 to create a single day of celebration for coffee lovers around the world. Every year on 1 October, the world comes together to celebrate coffee and recognise the millions of people across the globe – from farmers, to roasters, baristas, coffee shop owners and more – who work hard to create and serve the beverage we all love.

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) announces the continuation of ‘Coffee’s Next Generation’ as the focus for the International Coffee Day 2021. ‘Coffee’s Next Generation’ is a global initiative targeting talented and motivated young people and entrepreneurs in the coffee sector.

To enable these young women and men to build a prosperous and sustainable future, this initiative intends to provide them with access to finance and knowledge, skills development, coaching and training as well as networking.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a global health crisis with extreme economic consequences that has also created an unprecedented situation in the coffee sector, negatively impacting both supply and demand in parallel for the first time. Even before covid-19, farmers were already struggling due to low coffee prices and global and environmental challenges and threats.

In light of the cumulative effects of the coffee price crisis and the covid-19 pandemic, not only is there a serious threat to the livelihoods of coffee farmers today but also a dramatic risk to the future of coffee tomorrow.

An increasing number of young people in coffee-farming households are moving away from ‘the family business’ to other locations and jobs that they see as more progressive and lucrative for their future. Furthermore, many of the jobs often held by young people across the coffee value chain have recently been lost.

Investing in youth will generate both innovative and sustainable solutions for the coffee sector, contributing to build back a better, more equitable and prosperous coffee sector, enabling recovery from the covid-19 crisis and building a stronger future, positively impacting coffee communities around the world. It will also mitigate the lack of engagement of youth in coffee farming and other areas of the value chain.

‘Coffee’s Next Generation’ is intended to engage ICO Members and all coffee stakeholders to work together with youth organizations, industry leaders and associations, international organizations, development and financial partners and coffee consumers, to invest in the youth and bring to life their innovative ideas and enthusiasm to benefit the whole coffee community and to recover from the pandemic building a more prosperous future.

ICO calls on the global coffee community to celebrate coffee and to contribute to building the Coffee’s Next Generation: share via info@ico.org (subject line ‘ICD 2021’) your ideas, initiatives, programmes, co-funding suggestions, stories, photos, and videos, related to coffee. This will allow to showcase the opportunities and the challenges of engaging and supporting youth in coffee production, trade, transformation, distribution, consumption, and disposal. ICO also encourages youth in the coffee value chain to submit their success stories and good practices at the following link. Selected stories will feature in the 2021 Coffee Development Report.

On 1st October 2021 the ICO will take part in the World Food Forum (WFF), organized by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Youth Committee and many young leaders to build better food systems. To align with this objective, the ICO will celebrate ICD 2021 during the opening day of the WFF. The ICO, in collaboration with Slow Food Coffee Coalition Youth Network, will be ‘Tracing the Coffee Value Chain’ and will explore the socio-economic challenges of the farmers up to the coffee reaching the final consumer. Register for the event here.

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