Ufadhili’s coffee project was initiated to address the historical and economic social injustice faced by small scale coffee farmers along the value chain by encouraging socially responsible practices by all stakeholders within the sector. The aim of the project is ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector through responsible value chain management.
Prior to the commencement of the project, Ufadhili Trust carried out a research dubbed, “Evaluating Coffee Value Chains: Case Studies of Selected Coffee Value Chain Initiatives in East Africa” in 2007 with a view to identifying and exposing critical to gaps that exist in the coffee industry.
These gaps were;
Representation: Most farmers were unrepresented at national and regional levels. The farmers were marginalised at the market and policy making processes. Ufadhili set out to strengthen the influence of the farmers through national and regional Associations.
Linkages gap: The farmers lacked the opportunity to building strategic partnerships with other stakeholders including businesses, business associations, development agencies, government and educational institutions. Ufadhili Trust set out to link the smallholder farmers with these strategic partners which are critical in provision of market and other information related to the coffee business.
Capacity gaps: The study noted that most of the smallholder farmers and associations lacked the capacity to undertake their activities/businesses effectively. Ufadhili set out to support the farmers and associations in business development support to entrench a culture of entrepreneurship, provision of information to deal with the information asymmetry that often entrenches exploitation, peer learning opportunities among other kinds of support.
The project was supported by Diakonia Sweden.