Statement by Acting Spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala
Washington, DC (STL.News) – Every year on October 1, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is proud to join partners around the world in celebrating International Coffee Day. The production of coffee is a vital source of income for 12.5 million farmers in developing countries, many of whom struggle with poverty and hunger daily.
USAID is helping to strengthen the global coffee sector and protect it from threats like plant diseases and low prices paid to producers. USAID works to build the resilience of small-scale coffee producers and the supply-chains on which they depend.
This year, we have two new partnerships to celebrate. USAID is teaming up with Neumann Kaffee Gruppe, the world’s largest green-coffee service group, on an investment fund to unlock lending to smallholder coffee farmers in almost a dozen countries worldwide. USAID’s credit guarantee will help to reduce risk and connect more farmers to finance to boost their production.
Through the Feed the Future initiative(link is external), USAID is also collaborating with the Specialty Coffee Association, an organization that represents thousands of coffee professionals, to help producers manage volatility in coffee prices and forge stronger relationships with buyers for a decent living wage.
Helping to ensure a steady supply of quality coffee by assisting the world’s many at-risk coffee producers is a smart investment for the United States as well: The coffee sector accounts for nearly 1.7 million American jobs, and adds $225 billion to the U.S. economy annually.
USAID’s investments in coffee span many countries on three continents, and includes U.S. companies such as Keurig Dr Pepper, Starbucks, and American institutions like Root Capital, TechnoServe, Tetra Tech, and World Coffee Research.