GUATEMALA – Olam International’s Coffee division has teamed up with international non-profit organization TechnoServe, to help farmers in Guatemala modernize their coffee farming operations in pursuit of higher quality and improved returns on investment.

18 field staff from Olam Coffee and TechnoServe will work alongside the farmers, delivering training that spans agriculture practices and farm renovation to waste-water management and post-harvest techniques.

Through higher yields and better-quality standards, Olam says this will open up opportunities for farmers to secure premiums from certification and specialty markets, while lowering their production costs.

Meanwhile, during the harvest period the focus will shift to connecting producers directly to markets to sell their beans.

The farmers will register on Olam Direct, a digital buying platform that gives farmers the ability to do business directly with Olam and access daily market price information.

This will also feed into Olam’s sustainability insights platform AtSource, enabling the company to track and monitor progress.

About 4,000 farmers smallholder farmers in the Huehuetenango region in Guatemala are expected to benefit from this noble project, according to TechnoServe.

Speaking on the partnership, Nikhil Chandan, VP and country head Guatemala at Olam Coffee noted that his company was currently working with 650 farmers in Guatemala through existing sustainability programme.

He however noted that Olam relied on collaboration to scale up our impact adding that the partnership is a “really exciting opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the livelihoods of these 4,000 farmers and their families by enabling them to increase their yields by 30% by 2022.”

According to a report by FoodBev, the partnership is part of the Maximising Opportunities in Coffee and Cacao in the Americas (MOCCA) project, which is led by TechnoServe and funded by the US Department of Agriculture.

“By leveraging a model that provides training and access to services that would otherwise be difficult to obtain, farmers are able to access higher-value markets. This improves living conditions for producers and their families in a lasting way,” Ryan Bathrick, director of MOCCA, added.

The announcement also contributes to Olam Coffee’s new sustainability strategy Coffee LENS, as it aims to improve the coffee production for 200,000 households by 2025.

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