As Edinburgh’s international charity, we are so excited to be coming to the Edinburgh Coffee Festival – and not just to enjoy the delicious drinks and food that there is on offer! We are looking forward to meeting coffee lovers like ourselves and sharing our work with you. Mercy Corps works with some of the people who are behind your cup of coffee; those that have planted, nurtured and produced the beans that we enjoy.

On October 3rd we will be at Mansfield Traquair to share their story with you. Of the 2.25 billion cups of coffee drunk every day, more than 70% of the beans used were grown by small holder farmers. Despite the huge industry they work in, many of these farmers and their families struggle to lead profitable, happy and healthy lives.

Mercy Corps works in many coffee growing areas in Central and South America, Southeast Asia and East Africa. We work to support coffee farmers because thriving farms build robust livelihoods and provide communities and families with reliable income for generations to come.

So who is behind your cup of coffee?

Juan Carlos Vargas lives in Tolima, Colombia. At 38 years old, Juan grows about 11,000 coffee plants on his farm. He says ‘We want to produce a quality coffee that conserves the environment and nature, that we see our work in the final product. I want my work to improve the quality of life of the community and conserve all this natural territory.’  Jaun worked with Mercy Corps to learn how to improve his yield by using organic farming processes such as water sanitation and natural shade canopies and has enjoyed great success. But Juan also wanted to improve the lives of his fellow workers so built an organic garden with Mercy Corps’ help that now brings food security, better nutrition and diversity of diet to those that work on the farm.

Maria Flor Morales is 50 years old and manages 5 hectares of land in San Antonio, Southern Tolima, growing 22,000 coffee plants. She uses the income from coffee to provide for her daughter and son, along with her grandchildren. Mercy Corps is helping her with land and water management practices on the farm to give her better access to water not just for her crops but for her home and family. Maria also created a garden to produce a variety of vegetables for her family and for the workers that help pick coffee during harvest time. Mercy Corps provided seeds and helped train her how to get the most out of her vegetable garden. Maria now has more food for her children for more of the year and the family benefit from a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables

To hear more about our work in Colombia, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Guatemala and more, join us at the Edinburgh Coffee Festival on Saturday 3rd October at 10.30am .

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