Solidarity among small-scale coffee farmers
Ankole CPCU (short for Ankole Coffee Producers Cooperative Union) brings together 20 cooperatives that produce fair-trade coffee. In total, these cooperatives represent around 14,500 farmers. They all work on a very small scale, each having about 0.4 hectares of land on average.
Ankole has grown significantly since its beginnings in 2006. Now the organisation exports more than 100 shipping containers of fair-trade-certified robusta coffee each year.
Coffee that’s worth more
Ankole helps coffee farmers to earn more from what they produce. Each day the organisation works tirelessly at its ultimate objective: improving the living conditions of its members in a sustainable way.
The secret to the Ankole coffee farmers’ success:
- Since 2014 Ankole has had its own factory for processing the dried coffee beans into green (unroasted) coffee (info in Dutch). This keeps a larger part of the coffee production chain under its own control and means that the cooperative is no longer dependent on other companies for this. Now Ankole is better able to guarantee the quality of its robusta coffee. The producers paid for this factory largely thanks to the fair trade premium (info in Dutch).
- In addition to coffee, the farmers also grow bananas, potatoes, yuca and corn. These crops are for the farmer’s own use or for sale on the local market. In the latter case, the additional crops ensure that their income does not depend solely on the success of the coffee harvest.
- Ankole also supports various social projects in the member cooperatives, such as projects relating to gender issues.
Ankole & Oxfam
- Year after year, Ankole continues to produce quality, organic robusta coffee. Their coffee has been adding wallop to Oxfam’s blends since 2011.
- With the support of Oxfam’s Partner Fund (info in Dutch), Ankole has invested in coffee plant nurseries, which are shared out among its producers. This is necessary because climate change (info in Dutch) (droughts, unpredictable rainfall, etc.) makes the existing plants vulnerable to illness.
- Since 2023, Ankole will start an HRDD project together with Oxfam België/Belgique. This will better map local production conditions. This way, problems can be addressed in a targeted way. Even though being fair trade provides guarantees, Oxfam Fair Trade wants to go one step further.