A cup of impact

23/01/2020

The Kenyan coffee story

Have you ever visited our tech hub? If yes – you’ve probably been offered a cup of coffee. Every time you take a zip of your coffee at inQvation, you are having a positive impact on the lives of female Kenyan coffee farmers.

So, it all started almost 1 year ago. Our family company, Zibra A/S, and NGUVU teamed up to help Kenyan women transition their coffee production to the new weather situation. Why? Because in recent years, coffee farmers in Kenya have been hit hard by climate change – extreme drought threatens the coffee harvest. Furthermore, the challenge is, that coffee farmers in Meru, near Mount Kenya, have been exploited by middlemen paying them poorly and always too late. Empowering women to have access to a job is vital for reducing poverty. Studies have shown that women tend to spend their income differently from men – they spend less on personal use and more on food for the family. This means, among other things, that children have a better chance of getting the right nutrition, health treatment and education.

And this is where our Kenyan coffee story started. Rune founded NGUVU because he wanted to help vulnerable women in Kenya to become strong enough to create a better life for themselves and their children. Circumstances, luck and a lot of good ideas brought Teresa Labriola, CSR Group Manager in Zibra A/S and Rune together. 

Teresa and the coffee farmers in front of the school

Skills development, collection of rainwater and 50.000 new coffee trees

How do you help 130 coffee farmers in Kenya to transition their coffee production into the new weather situation? It’s not an easy task but together with NGUVU, Zibra A/S decided to help the female coffee farmers to deal with the changes in climate.

Zibra A/S has financed:

– Agronomy training and knew knowledge

– Rainwater collection 

– Coffee plant nursery

Skills development, collection of rainwater and 50.000 new coffee trees – that was all Teresa’s ideas. Together with NGUVU, Teresa has arranged training and new knowledge for the female coffee farmers: an agronomist with expertise in coffee trees train the women so that they can adapt the farm to the changes in the weather and to improve their farms in general. Also, water tanks are installed at some of the women’s farms so that they can collect rainwater that can secure water to the coffee trees during the drought periods. A so-called ‘nursery’ for coffee trees has also been built so that the women, together with the agronomist, can test a new type of coffee tree that is better off with long periods of drought. As the coffee trees grow large, they will be taken over by the women and sold to local coffee farmers, so that the model can finance itself in the long run.

But how to make sure that all the initiatives run well? Well, Teresa went to Kenya for six months – she runs all the initiatives – and she’s involved in developing NGUVU’s local partners to strengthen their skills and abilities as project managers. She has now stayed there for about four months, so in about seven weeks she will be back at her seat in our tech hub.

AND the coffee project is going really well! At the end of last year, NGUVU started the second group, which means that around 130 women and 300 kids are directly affected by the collaboration and its initiatives. These 130 women now get more financial stability long-term and they get professional help, so they can adapt their coffee farm to climate change and optimize their coffee harvest. The plan is that all the initiatives should be self-propelling, so when training with the agronomists is over and Teresa heads home, the women are able to run the business themselves. But many things need to be completed before her departure! 12 water tanks must be installed at the women’s coffee farms, 60,000 cuttings must be transplanted into eco plant bags, and the training for the 130 women must be completed.

The coffee farmers learn how to put new knowledge into practice at one of the coffee farms

Do you want to try a cup of NGUVU coffee?

No problem! If you visit our hub in Taastrup we promise to serve you a cup of coffee. Americano, latte or maybe a regular coffee – we serve it all! All the coffee beans we use for our coffee consumption are from NGUVU – in that way we also help support the women, their coffee harvest and their future. You can do the same! Want to know more about NGUVU and their coffee? Take a look at their website

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