A Brewing Storm: the climate change risks to coffee

Climate Change Around the Bean Belt

The evidence is clear that climate change is already beginning to impact coffee production. As the world continues to warm, market and climate volatility will combine to cause problems for coffee producers and consumers.

Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand commissioned a report titled A Brewing Storm: the climate change risks to coffee by the Climate Institute to better understand the extent to which climate change is impacting coffee production globally. The report features finding from all three Coffee Kids project sites: Tanzania, Trifinio, and Colombia. It is hoped that insights gained from this report will lead to greater engagement, from the coffee industry and consumers, with key initiatives that aim to protect this valuable commodity, and the millions of livelihoods it supports around the world, for future generations. The infographic below highlights some of the findings from the report.

A Brewing Storm: the climate change risks to coffee

National Coffee Day with Coffee Kids!

National Coffee Day with Coffee Kids

Roasters, shop owners, and more: National Coffee Day is a great way to show coffee lovers in your community that you care about the future of coffee and empowering the people who grow it! Contact us so we can start the conversation on how we can partner on National Coffee Day!


National Coffee Day with Coffee Kids!

easy charity gifts for mom

Gifts that give back

Honor you that special someone with the gift of empowering the next generation of coffee growers. Make your donation to Coffee Kids and we will be sure to let him/her know!

Three steps:

1. Fill in the donation form on our donate page and check the box that asks if you would like to make the donation is someone else’s name.

charity gift for mother's day

2. Write your custom message to in the text box. In that box, give us the email address where you would like us to email the e-card. Gift for charity

3. Wait for your someone special to receive their card! We will email you a copy as well!



Food crisis coffee farmers

Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility

When food prices spiked in 2008, the international price of basic food items peaked at unprecedented levels, bringing a wave of food riots in low-income countries. Subsequent price volatility and peaks have had huge – and long term – impacts on millions of people. They have increased people’s dependence on the market for where they obtain their food and the means to buy it, and accelerated urbanisation and migration, especially by the young. HRNS and Coffee Kids both saw that coffee farmers, already struggling with an erratic coffee market, suffered immensely.

Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility was a real-time investigation by IDS and Oxfam of the experiences of people on low and uncertain incomes as they made dramatic adjustments to their place in the global economy in the wake of the food and financial crises that began in 2007.

Check out the learnings from the study below.

Global food crisis infographic Oxfam

Beings behind the bean: stories from the movers and shakers of the coffee industry

Coffee Kids is diving deep into the most pressing issues facing the coffee sector with industry specialists, roasters, field staff, and more. Stay tuned to this space for new interviews and stories with the beings behind the coffee bean!

Kitti Murray, Founder & Executive Director of Refuge Coffee

Hear the inspiring story of Refuge Coffee with Kitti Murray and learn how they relentlessly pursue their goal to provide employment and job-training opportunities to resettled refugees.

Interview with Kitti Murray Refuge Coffee Co


Peter Baker, The Initiative for coffee & climate  

Has the Central American drought become a humanitarian issue? Does the new resurgence of La Roya pose a risk for a sector-wide crisis? This and more in our interview with esteemed coffee expert, Peter Baker.

Peter Baker coffee expert


Chris Vigilante, Vigilante Coffee 

The first installment of our “Voices from the Ground” interview series: CEO and Green Buyer of Vigilante Coffee Co., Chris Vigilante, talks with Coffee Kids about his cross-country road trip inspired by Ben & Jerry’s and motivated by his passion for improving the lives of coffee farmers.

Chris Vigilante of Vigilante Coffee

opportunities for young farmers

Understanding youth livelihoods

To understand the main drivers and influences of the behavior, income, and activities of young people, the MasterCard Foundation recently published the following report:  Invisible Lives: Understanding Youth Livelihoods in Ghana and Uganda. It documents a trend Coffee Kids has observed in various coffee growing communities:  how rural young people pursue “mixed livelihoods” to generate income, combining temporary and seasonal work in the informal and formal sectors by working for themselves and others.

Understanding trends in youth livelihoods in agricultural communities is essential knowledge for implementing successful and sustainable solutions to youth abandonment of coffee growing. Below are the five key takeaways from the report. You can read it in full here.

5 lessons on youth livelihoods report

Climate change and coffee farmers

We won’t stop saying ‘climate change’

Climate change remains a major threat to the future of coffee.

Although Coffee Kids is not a climate change-focused organization per se, we are working in communities struggling with its affects. Young farmers want to know how to deal with the effects of climate change and as result, we have integrated ways of addressing it in our agricultural trainings.

One reality is that many organizations and initiatives that address climate change are opting to use other terms to describe their work and avoid using the exact terms “climate change” out of fear of losing support and funding. This is an unfortunate reality that the non-profit sector as a whole has recognized.


Climate change is expected halve the area suitable for coffee production by 2050.

By 2030, the effects of climate change on agriculture will play a key part of driving people into poverty


Climate change is real. Climate change is here. Climate change is now and it affects the future of coffee. Young farmers are ideally positioned to implement novel and creative solutions to climate change. Thanks to you we won’t have to stop saying climate change and we can focus on the work which needs to be done to help young farmers adapt to it.

Challenges for young coffee farmers

Opportunities for rural youth in coffee communities

There are about 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 – the largest youth population ever. Over the next year alone an estimated 118 million youth will turn 18.  This age can be an exciting turning point from youth into independent adult; however, it also means a transition into uncharted territory for many young people. Some will begin their university studies, some will start a trade, and others may be encouraged into military service (as mandated in over 70 countries). While agriculture is the primary livelihood for 65% of adults with low incomes, many youth in rural areas are not equipped or uninterested in pursuing a life in farming. From the rural farm areas of Ohio to the desert outposts of Oman, rural youth often struggle to find a trajectory will lead to a livelihood with a reliable, year-round income.


Many youth face limited opportunities

Nearly eighty-five percent of young adults are from low-income countries. There is a shortage of formal employment opportunities, particularly for youth in rural areas. Many young people rely on taking odd jobs here, but they are unpredictable and do not provide training or adequate financing. That’s where Coffee Kids comes in.


Entrepreneurship training for rural youth

Coffee Kids is on the ground in remote, rural coffee-growing towns and villages. We offer our Rural Business Workshops which include training, mentorship, and seed capital leading youth to create a dream and a plan for their future. Our students recognize the potential of pursuing coffee growing, some by inheriting their parent’s farms, as a means to provide economic opportunity. They have told us that they face challenges caused by climate change, market volatility, and access to land. They have shared their hopes and aspirations with us to become self-reliant entrepreneurs with businesses that provide steady, year round-income.

Support for coffee farmers


The future of coffee

As an organization that engages the coffee sector, we believe that the future of coffee begins with young farmers. We work with local communities to provide relevant business skills training by local trainers who understand the community. We also provide start-up capital to put our students’ ideas into action. But our support doesn’t stop there; we also provide long-term mentorship to our students to improve their chance of success. After all, without farmers, there is no coffee!

Peet's and Coffee Kids partner to empower coffee growers in Colombia

Coffee Kids partners with Peet’s Coffee to empower youth in Colombia

Peet's Coffee Anniversary blend benefiting Coffee Kids

This month Peet’s Coffee announced the launch of its annual, limited release Anniversary Blend and a donation to Coffee Kids. The donation supports our Rural Business Workshops in Risaralda, Colombia. The blend celebrates Peet’s founding by giving back to origin, continuing a longstanding tradition of donating to coffee-producing communities.  Coffee Kids and Peet’s have collaborated for nearly thirty years to support coffee communities.

About the blend, Doug Welsh, Vice President, Coffee, Peet’s Coffee said: “There are hints of ripe melon from Colombia, sweet cherry from Rwanda, and full-bodied papaya from New Guinea. Together these flavors produce a refreshingly bright cup. Sweeter still, this year’s blend contributes to Coffee Kids, which supports youth training and mentorship that empowers budding coffee entrepreneurs.”

On a visit together to Risaralda earlier this year, the Coffee Kids team and Peet’s met with the young farmers participating in our Rural Business Workshops and learned about their experiences first hand.


The 2017 Anniversary Blend is available in distinctive purple bags, so look out for them next time you visit Peet’s!

Women in coffee

From dream to reality

According to the National Coffee Association, on a global level, women do 70% of the work on coffee farms but own only 15% of the land and traded beans. Economic (and often cultural) challenges mean that they are unable to access the funding, resources, or health care that they desperately need. Yet studies show that empowering women coffee farmers leads to healthier families, more resilient communities, and higher quality crops.

Coffee Kids recognizes that young women farmers face a unique set of challenges. We work closely with these young farmers to give them the tools they need to be successful entrepreneurs because we know the critical role women play in the future of coffee.

Here we have interviewed a woman who participated our Rural Business Workshops. Maria is a young coffee farmer who was able to actualize the dream of opening a bakery to supplement her coffee income. Read more about her story in her own words below.


About me:

My name is Maria del Carmen Villeda Carrillo. I am 24 years old and I live in Honduras.

I come from a very humble home; I did not have the opportunity to study but my parents formed me with good values and manners. At the moment I have my own business and I am a married mother of two children.


How the Coffee Kids helped me launch my business:

Before joining Coffee Kids, I had my idea of ​​starting a bakery as a side business, but it was only “an idea.” When I heard about the Rural Business Workshops, getting involved seemed like a great opportunity to make my dream come true. By joining, I was able to learn life and business skills. As result, I feel that I was formed into an entrepreneur.

The seed funding I received from Coffee Kids helped jump start my business idea of opening a bakery. The money I received was invested in materials and equipment, which I have learned to register in my book keeping. In the future, I would like to use more coffee-derivative products in my shop.


My hopes for the future

I would say that my great successes is that I have been able to financially depend on myself completely. I’m so thankful for this great opportunity that has transformed my life and I encourage all young people to fight for their dreams.