The United States-based organizations say they are aligned in a commitment to combat the daunting problem of seasonal hunger — sometimes called the “lean season” — among coffee-farming families.
“The coffee community, in particular, continues to ask the right questions about how to build in equity and prosperity for the producers,” GrainPro President Jordan Day told DCN by phone. “What Food 4 Farmers is doing is really addressing that question… in a manner that works for producers.”
Though the organizations have not publicized the specific terms of the partnership, Dey said it will involve the contribution of a fixed percentage of GrainPro’s annual net income to Food 4 Farmers, which since 2011 has worked to combat food insecurity among coffee farmers in parts of Latin America through local community-driven solutions.
Food 4 Farmers currently facilitates programming with six partner coffee-producing cooperatives in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Nicaragua.
“As GrainPro grows, our support for Food 4 Farmers grows,” Dey said, noting that Food 4 Farmers represents the company’s first strategic partner in working toward various UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Food 4 Farmers Development Director and Co-Founder Janice Nadworny suggested GrainPro’s crop-handling solutions and expertise in food management are perfectly aligned with the two organizations’ stated commitments to providing locally driven food solutions farming communities.
“It’s such a big messy problem in the coffee industry,” Nadworny said of seasonal hunger tied to low coffee incomes. “We can’t solve it alone; no one can solve it alone.”
In an announcement of the partnership, Food 4 Farmers Program Director and Co-Founder Marcela Pino said the nonprofit’s current programs support farming families that currently experience two to eight months of food insecurity each year, as coffee income is insufficient due to perpetually low global prices.
“Even with Fair Trade and other certification premiums, their coffee income is simply not enough, with most families living well below the Global Poverty Line of $1.90 per person per day,” Pino said.
Nadworny said she hopes the partnership with GrainPro will result not only in immediate benefits to Food 4 Farmers programs, but also in lasting models for combatting seasonal hunger, potentially in other agricultural sectors.
“GrainPro has global relationships beyond Latin America,” Nadworny said. “It’s not about us. It’s about the impact of the work. It’s about reaching more farmers.”