Kahawatu, People's Coffee

Kahawatu means People's Coffee in swahili, a lingua franca spoken by millions in the African Great Lakes region. 

Why Coffee? 

Coffee plays a crucial role in the lives of millions of smallholder farmers for whom coffee is the main source of income. While the coffee industry generates billions of dollars annually, the vast majority of East African small holder coffee farmers do not benefit from the economic growth of the industry and live below poverty line. Affected by climate change, and vulnerable to market fluctuations, coffee growers are struggling to maintain production and quality to profitable levels; 

Currently, nearly every major coffee-producing region of the world is under stress. Warming temperatures, drought and changing weather patterns are affecting coffee production. Other factors also compound this stress: market volatility has significantly lowered prices, aging coffee trees are declining in productivity and the next generation of coffee farmers is seeking economic alternatives for their livelihoods.
— ICO 2015


Why Africa?

The continent counts more 25 african countries in which coffee is a vital contributor to foreign exchange earnings and accounts for a significant proportion of tax income and Gross Domestic Product.  As opposed to Asia or South & Central America, coffee production in Africa has overall decreased over the last past decades and the downward trend has continued despite a steady increase in global demand. 

“The total number of coffee farmers directly involved in production activities in Africa is estimated at between 10 and 12 million”
— ICO, 2015

The next fifteen years is an important window as climate change impacts intensify and demand for coffee continues to grow as China and India develop a taste for coffee.  


 Learn more about coffee sustainability at the International Coffee Organization


 Kahawatu Foundation 

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