1 October 2015 is the very first International Coffee Day. Today, I’ll be swapping my usual cup of tea for coffee and encouraging colleagues to do the same. Many of us can’t start the morning without a coffee. But as you’re drinking your first cup, spare a thought for where this important commodity crop comes from and what it takes to get it from the farm to the cup.
There are an estimated 25 million coffee farmers in the world with more than 100 million people directly or indirectly dependant on the coffee trade for their income. But here’s something you may not know: more than 70% of the world’s coffee supply is produced by smallholder farmers – farmers, usually family farmers, growing a mix of crops to eat and sell, on a small plot of land. These people rely on growing and selling coffee for their livelihoods, using the cash from their coffee to pay for things like food, housing and schooling.