CRS joins the journey towards coffee sustainability

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has recently joined the Global Coffee Platform and over 150 members worldwide to address some of the most pressing issues worldwide in the coffee sector. The new GCP Member will open new opportunities for collaboration and contribute to scale up the local action activities in coffee producing countries where the National Coffee Platforms currently operate.

CRS is an international relief and development NGO with the broad aim to help poor and vulnerable people overseas. As the official international agency of the Catholic Church in the United States, they work with local Churches implementing partners to ease suffering and aid people in need without regard to race, religion or nationality.

CRS’ relief and development work are accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, water, education, microfinance, peacebuilding and partnership in more than 100 countries around the world. Within the agriculture programming falls CRS’ Coffeelands program, through which they aim to use coffee as a lever for sustainable socio-economic development, poverty reduction, and improved natural resource management for coffee-dependent populations – i.e. coffee farmers, people who earn wage labor from coffee, and their families.

CRS has supported coffee-dependent households in Central and South America, East and Central Africa, and Southeast Asia for over 15 years, and currently executes programs in nine countries benefitting over 30,000 coffee farming households. In those interventions – and in its work in the coffee sector more broadly – CRS works closely with private sector, public donor institutions, producing country institutions, and local implementing organizations to test and refine approaches to coffee sector development and jointly generate lessons learned on how to make coffee a more economically viable and environmentally sustainable livelihood activity for smallholder farmers, farmworkers, and their families.

Andrew Sargent, CRS’ Coffeelands Program Director, participated in the Global Coffee Sustainability Conference 2018, which for him it was “a fantastic event. It was large enough to include many important players in coffee sector sustainability but was small enough to enable frequent and fruitful interaction, dialogue, and discussions among the participants.” He also highlighted the importance of taking the conference to a coffee producing country, “it was an excellent decision to organize the conference during the Semana Internacional do Café, since it was held against the backdrop of Brazil, one of the coffee world’s most advanced countries in terms of sustainability.”

GCP welcomes Andrew, his team and the CRS Community. This valuable addition to the GCP Members will surely open new opportunities for collaboration and contribute to scale up the local action activities in coffee producing countries worldwide.

You can also become a GCP Member and join CRS in our coffee sustainability journey, just click here.