Maximizing Opportunities in Coffee and Cacao in the Americas (MOCCA) Project, is a five-year initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and implemented by a consortium led by TechnoServe.
Olam coffee has partnered with TechnoServe to deliver a training programme to upskill farmers with knowledge and skills to improve their productivity and income, and access to higher-value markets.
TechnoServe is an international non-profit organisation operating in 29 countries. Their goal is to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries, by linking people to information, capital, and markets.
Olam and TechnoServe have allocated 18 field staff to work alongside the farmers, delivering training on everything from agricultural practices and farm renovation to waste-water management and post-harvest techniques.
Higher yields and quality standards will open up opportunities for farmers to secure premiums from certification and specialty markets, while lowering their production costs.
During the harvest period, the programme will focus on connecting the producers directly to markets to sell their beans, instead of the usual route via multiple intermediaries.
Field staff will train and register farmers on Olam Direct, a digital buying platform designed to bring their transparency and traceability technology to the agriculture supply chain.
The platform gives farmers the ability to negotiate and do business directly with Olam, and access information on daily market prices so that they extract the best value from their crop.
For Olam, the platform provides a traceability tool and captures data on the programme’s activities that will feed into the economic metrics of AtSource – the company’s sustainability insights platform – which will be used to track and monitor progress.
The programme comes at a good time when the global COVID pandemic is affecting small-scale producers, forcing the growers and producers to consider how they can become more productive and resilient.
The project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food for Progress Program.
Rachel Nelson, Regional Agricultural Counsellor for Guatemala, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service said,
USDA is proud to be able to support this program, which aims to improve the lives of coffee producers in Guatemala.