A future in coffee: Growing a new generation of coffee professionals
A new generation of coffee professionals is urgently needed. Over the last decade, organisations in various parts of the world have launched projects to increase the number of youth involved in the coffee sector. Some have been extremely successful, generating benefits that extend far beyond the coffee sector into social, economic and psychological welfare. These projects provide clear insights that can be applied in many other sectors and can potentially transform the coffee production sector. This publication (PDF) by Hivos summarizes 5 case studies worldwide on good practices how to involve youth in the coffee sector, and comes up with successful strategies that attracted young people back to the coffee sector. In each of these studies, the pivotal element attracting young people was education and training, both for women and men. Once this was facilitated, participants experienced the benefits in terms of productivity in their fields, and progressed to training others as well. The most successful initiatives broadened their focus from farming to all aspects of the value chain. The interventions did not limit themselves to agricultural training. They focused on wider areas of empowerment within the community, such as leadership development, provisions of social necessities and even creative work. This combination of foci seems to have translated into a major source of general support for the young people.