When thinking about the developing coffee regions in Africa and Latin-America, one can’t help noticing the influence of an organization called TechnoServe. As the name cleverly suggests, this American NGO is putting Technology to the Service of mankind, and it does so in many ways.
While volunteering in a hospital in Ghana, American businessman and philanthropist Ed Bullard was inspired by the hardworking Ghanaian people and decided to start an organization to help them. The year was 1968, and at that time, Bullard mainly focused on helping individuals and their private enterprises. As the years passed by, TechnoServe shifted focus more to making improvements through the power of the collective, eg agricultural cooperatives, and its influence spread worldwide. Now, TechnoServe is active in over 40 countries, and employs more than 1,000 people all over the world.
The way TechnoServe sees it, coffee plays a vital role in many African and Latin American countries. They support local coffee farmers with technical advice and links to credit and markets, so their beans yield a higher price. It’s no coincidence that the farmers who received assistance from TechnoServe have seen their revenues increase by 37% on average! Also, the organization is working with local banks to develop new financial mechanisms that give smallholder farmers access to loans. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Coffee Initiative has helped over 180,000 farmers in East Africa over the past four years.
Every time farmers improve their coffee producing skills, they contribute directly to a better ‘cup of joe’ for the customer. So TechnoServe is not only helping to eradicate poverty and hunger, it also provides the specialty coffee lover with extra flavor experiences. It fulfills our wish for more, better, and special coffee on the market, while actively making a difference in the lives of thousands of people.
For 32cup too, this makes a big difference. Since TechnoServe started its activities in countries like Rwanda and Burundi, the quality and consistency of the coffee beans has increased immensely. The organization is giving the farmers the chance to deploy their adventurous African coffee beans to their full potential. Consequently, the spectacular African coffees are generating curiosity from all over the globe, thanks to the hardworking local farmers and a little help from TechnoServe. If you’re looking for proof, we can strongly advice our Rwanda’s Vunga, Matyazo and Buhanga! The Burundi’s that are on their way to Antwerp as we speak, are very promising as well.
The TechnoServe method has received praise from all over the world, earning them accolades from the Financial Times, Charity Navigator, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Worth Magazine and the American Agency for International Development. The NGO will continue to pursue a fair future for all, much to the benefit of the farmers from Benin to Zimbabwe. And of coffee lovers everywhere else!