Coffee-producing communities face many environmental and social challenges. And the people who live in these communities are best positioned to develop good solutions. So in addition to committing to long-term sourcing relationships, paying quality premiums for quality coffee, and growing together, we also work directly with our partners to co-fund innovative initiatives that support social and environmental sustainability in their communities.
When it comes to co-funding what we call origin-led initiatives, each project must:
Originate from coffee producers or their organizations;
Be co-funded, either financially or through in-kind donations; and
Aim to improve the social or environmental well-being of the community
These are a few of the incredible recent projects we've been proud to support in tandem with our producer partners.
Finca Churupampa Compost Project, Peru
We've partnered with the Finca Churupampa producer association in Chirinos, Peru, since 2014, and feature Churupampa on our single-origin menu and in our organic blends. In 2017, we provided seed money for an organic compost system designed and led by Eber Tocto, one of the founders of Finca Churupampa. With additional funding from Stumptown in 2018, compost facilities were replicated on eight other small farms that contribute to the Churupampa lots. Today, that number includes twenty additional farms. The organic compost helps enrich the soil and, along with mulching, allows it to retain moisture and nutrients to be more resilient to erratic precipitation made common by climate change.
Ketiara Community Road Construction, Sumatra
Stumptown has purchased coffee from the Ketiara Cooperative in Aceh since 2013. In recent years, shifting climate patterns have made heavy rains more frequent in the Gayo Highlands of Northern Sumatra, and muddy, often flooded roads make it difficult for Ketiara members to safely transport their coffee. In cooperative meetings, many members voiced the urgent need for improved roadways. In response, Ketiara launched a project to construct safe farm roads in the region. At the beginning of 2021, Stumptown contributed funds to support this project, along with our importer partner Atlas Coffees. With these donations, Ketiara completed 500 meters of new concrete roadways for two villages, Penangan Mata and Umang.
Huayku Community Fertilizer Fund, Colombia
Rising fertilizer prices make it difficult for coffee producers to access it when their coffee trees need them most. In early 2021, Stumptown funded an initiative to create a revolving fund for our partners at Federación Abades, the organization that produces our Colombia Huayku coffees. The fund provides credit to Abades members for purchasing fertilizers for their farms, which in turn helps them nourish their crops adequately throughout the year so that they can guarantee great quality and returns. In the future, Federación Abades’ goal is for this fund to become a broader savings account that members of the organization can access for a variety of production needs.
Seedling Project at Huye Mountain, Rwanda
Origin-led and co-funded, the Huye Mountain Seedling Project exemplifies our approach to partnering with coffee producers. We’ve purchased coffee from the Huye Mountain washing station in Rwanda since 2012. And in 2020, our producer partner, David Rubanzangabo, of Huye Mountain came to us with a proposal to help increase the productivity of smallholder farms in the Huye district. The funds we contributed were combined with a grant from the National Agricultural Export Development Board of Rwanda to support the purchase and distribution of coffee plant seedlings to Huye producers. So far, this includes the construction of plant nurseries and the distribution of 400,000 seedlings to 2,500 Huye area farmers.
Weather Stations in Colombia and Nicaragua
In 2020, we conducted our first-ever Direct Trade impact study in partnership with exporter Caravela and the El Jordan group in Tolima, Colombia. The study underscored the numerous benefits of Direct Trade but also highlighted the need for support in areas like climate change adaptation. In response, we helped fund the purchase of microclimate monitoring stations to generate data for better farm management. In 2021, this technology was installed on two farms in Planadas and Gaitania, Tolima. And soon after, we extended the effort to the Don Fernando group in Nicaragua. The information collected at these stations is integrated into Caravela’s technical assistance program to guide producers on farm management activities.
Coffee is a simple pleasure, but it’s not a simple process. We like to think that you can taste all the depth and complexity not just of the flavor notes, but also all of the work, dedication, and innovation that went into making it.
To learn more about Stumptown's commitment to people and planet, visit stumptowncoffee.com/impact.