Costa Cruises is supporting the new fundraising campaign called Coffee4Change launched to fight poverty among small coffee farmers and their communities in the southern hemisphere. Promoted by Oxfam and the ICO (International Coffee Organization) in collaboration with EXPO 2015 in Milan, Illy and Lavazza, the campaign is inspired by the Neapolitan tradition of the “caffè sospeso” or “suspended coffee”, the custom of leaving money to pay for coffee to benefit a stranger who cannot afford it. Throughout the month of October, anyone can make a donation starting from the standard price of an Italian espresso: one euro for a “virtual coffee” that you can buy and share with your friends at coffee4change.oxfam.org This is a simple act but an effective way of helping to make a difference and change lives. Funds will help improve the productivity and sustainability of coffee farming in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Honduras and Uganda. The ongoing projects are aimed at improving the working conditions and lives of small coffee growers, their families and communities around the world.
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FURTHER INFORMATION

Oxfam's work for sustainable coffee

Dominican Republic and Haiti

Oxfam has been working along-side small-scale coffee producers in the Dominican Republic and Haiti from 1999, to help them improve their production and sales within the sector and to break the vicious circle that forces farmers to sell their products at bargain prices. This commitment was increased after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, damaging the crops of more than 4,000 families, exacerbated in 2012 by the resurgence of Coffee Rust (a fungal disease that defoliates plants and resets the production). Oxfam aims to increase by 30%, the economic revenues of 3,000 coffee producers, in particular for women, in contributing to the diversification of agricultural production, improvement of the coffee chain, and encouraging collaboration between producer cooperatives and public institutions.

Honduras

Although it is classified as a middle-income country, Honduras has one of the highest levels of poverty in Latin America: despite its enormous production potential, over the years, economic growth has been very uneven and unbalanced, and today most of the families are forced to live through small-scale agricultural production. In this context, the recent return of Coffee Rust has further aggravated the living conditions for a large part of the population that relies heavily on their income within this sector. After the severe drought and subsequent floods of 2014, Oxfam intervened on the side of small-scale producers to improve the techniques of production and processing of coffee, also making the coffee plants more resistant to fungi and parasites. Work created primarily to economically support women setting up new agricultural activities.

Uganda

In Uganda, coffee is the main source of income: and in the north-west of the country it is the only source for approximately 80,000 families of farmers who produce up to 5,000 tons of coffee annually in the area. However, the revenue from this production volume is only sufficient enough to allow the basic survival of small-scale producers and their families. It is estimated that only 10% of the coffee produced is of high quality and that at least 70% of the production could improve thanks to new and differing techniques for collecting and processing the coffee. In Uganda Oxfam is working to support the production and marketing of coffee in 20 villages where there are approximately 100 farmers, primarily by helping them to improve the quality of the coffee produced.

East Timor

East Timor is one of the poorest countries in the Southeast Asia. The vast majority of the population, as many as 75%, live in rural areas and are engaged in agriculture: here malnutrition is still widespread and the majority of households are suffering from food shortages at least one month a year. Oxfam, in collaboration with the Cooperative Movement Economics Agricola (MCE-A), is helping more than 2,500 farmers to increase productivity of rice, coffee and other crops through improved agricultural techniques and training sessions on the most modern methods of cultivation: a commitment that according to Oxfam, can allow an increase of up to 400% of household income for each producer.

Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, Oxfam is providing approximately 4,000 farmers business skills and technical knowledge to improve crops and, consequently, the conditions of life for thousands of families. In particular, the intervention of Oxfam involves about 600 beekeepers and coffee producers with the aim of improving the pollination of flowers of coffee thus increasing the productivity of crops is estimated that bees could increase the production of coffee bean 35%, thus raising the income of farmers from the sale of coffee and honey.