What’s the only thing better than that first sip of coffee in the morning? Knowing that you’re changing the world while you drink it! And that’s why we support Youth Empowerment Coffee!

Coffee Kids UnioCafe InterAmerican
Young farmers pose with their coffee roasted and packaged by Common Good Coffee.

At Coffee Kids we believe that the creativity and innovative power of young people is integral to finding solutions to the complex challenges of the coffee industry. We also believe that through collaboration we can ensure all coffee farmers thrive. This is why Coffee Kids partners with InterAmerican Coffee, and a Honduran exporting company Becamo, to release Youth Empowerment Coffee. This line of coffee grown by young farmers supports the critical work we do with young farmers like Kevin Aroldo Leverón.

Kevin and his brother own and work a 4.3 acre plot in the Ocotepeque region of western Honduras. After their father died when he was young, Kevin and his brother had to step up to support their family. They learned coffee farming quickly, starting on less than an acre given to them by their uncles. Kevin quickly developed a passion for coffee, but he had to learn the hard way, teaching himself and making mistakes.

Kevin became part of the local farmer organization, UNIOCAFE, and specifically the UNIOCAFE Youth Committee, through the support of Coffee Kids. He threw himself into it, fascinated by the training, exposure to new techniques, and how to improve his yields and quality. He felt proud of himself for contributing to his family, his community, and the future of coffee.

Coffee Kids UnioCafe InterAmerican
Kevin (right) is now the president of UNIOCAFE Youth Committee

He quickly became more involved and today he is the President of the UNIOCAFE Youth Committee. He sees it as an opportunity to share his passion with the next generation. “I tell the other youth that we should be excited to do things well…people should know our coffee is special!”

Youth Empowerment Coffee, and the partnership that yielded it, can make such a major difference in the lives of young farmers like Kevin because:

  • It’s more than marketing: This coffee was grown by 22 young farmers who are working through the Youth Committee and the UNIOCAFE farmer organization. They were paid a premium, but this isn’t charity–the coffee meets InterAmerican’s quality standards and is selling well in several specialty coffee shops across the country.
  • It’s built on deep engagement: Coffee Kids and InterAmerican have long history of collaboration to ensure that coffee creates real opportunity for young farmers. Just recently, InterAmerican CEO Florian Benkhofer, accompanied by Ramon E. Media the Trade Manager of Becamo, visited the project site to hear the stories of participants like Kevin and share his knowledge of the market with the Youth Committee.
  • It’s win-win-win-win: The young farmers get access to entrepreneurship training, a market for their coffee, and a brand to increase its value; Becamo connects Honduran farmers to US companies; InterAmerican gains access to an outstanding coffee that they can proudly sell to their clients; Coffee Kids receives support for projects that protect the future of coffee; and coffee drinkers get a great cup of coffee they can feel good about.
The young farmers of Uniocafe!

This is what real change in coffee-growing communities looks like: the collaboration started by identifying the needs of the young farmers, and Coffee Kids then designed a solution that worked in concert with coffee markets. It’s a little more complicated than a seal on the side of a bag, but the impact is so much greater.

Coffee Kids Interamerican
Young farmers from Uniocafe pose with visitors from InterAmerican and Becamo

Read more about Youth Empowerment Coffee here.