GlobalGiving Report May 2021
Sustainably facing coffee rust threat in Mexico. (29075)
We will inform our appreciable donors the activities done with de coffee groups in this first quarter of the year. We will talk about three topics: 1) We are preparing a change of focus of the project, 2) the division of honeycombs of native bees and 3) visibility of coffee-growing women.
Transiting from the shady coffee farm to an agroforestry system
From the evaluation of the work from last year, one of the agreements with the participants in the project was to incorporate the forest dimension into the shaded coffee farms, in this way, we will move towards an agroforestry system. In the next report we will share the activities we carry out in this transition and the implications of this process.
Division of honeycombs of native bees to increase pollination
In the months of March and April we reviewed honeycombs, and one of the topics was to analyze the importance of pollination not only for the life of plant species, but also for human life. Colleagues commented on how the number of wild nests has decreased over the years due to theft to obtain virgin honey. In this way, the group of companions that make up the groups of native bees decided not to harvest honey this season and concentrate on the division of the nests that they have in their custody to increase the populations of native bees in their region so the pollination of the natural vegetation and crops of the region increases.
In the nest inspection, the following activities were carried out: a) nests were divided, b) raises were added to the boxes to increase the space for honey and pollen reserves, c) nests were changed to new boxes to improve their handling and d) propolis was harvested for the production of propolis tincture to use it in the health care of the family.
Making women's work visible
This quarter ended the coffee cutting season; after months in which many of the family members were daily cutting the cherry from the coffee plant. The months of coffee cutting are very intense; it combines the excitement of seeing the product of the family's work, the expectation of how the price will be when they take it to sell; economic constraints also ends; the payment of debts begins... It's time to plan: How much coffee will be sold in cherry to have money to fund the processing of the grain? How much of the cherry production will bien processed? How much dried coffee will be kept waiting for the price to improve? To whom the coffee will be sold to have a good price? ... These decisions were previously made by producers, i.e. men heads of families. Now, women have managed to make themselves seen as one more member of the family with very important contributions. Women's voices are increasingly been heard in these strategic decisions.
On this subject, the Bulletin "El Cafetalero" - a newsletter that is read in a wide region - published the result of a reflection made with men and women from the groups of three communities about what should be a fair price for coffee. In the beginning, in the three groups they agreed to propose that, in order to pay for all the work invested in the farm, the price should be between 13 and 15 pesos per kilogram of cherry coffee. However, in this year, the payment for the 1 kg of cherry coffee did not go over $9.50.
In the workshop, no one ever remembered when the price reached 15 pesos a kilo of cherry coffee. They mentioned that, in recent years, the price of coffee did not go over 10 pesos per kilogram.
We were concluding that the price paid year after year for coffee does not cover the work that producers do within the farm, when some female colleagues stressed that the price of coffee is also not covering all the care work that women do, without any remuneration, so that their husbands and their family can work, study and live their lives... For men and women these two approaches were very important: THE PRICE OF COFFEE DOES NOT COVER THE WORK THAT MEN DO IN THE PRODUCTION OF COFFEE NOR THE WORK OF THE WOMEN THAT FEED AND GENERATE THE CONDITIONS TO ENSURE THE WORK OF THE FAMILY
May those who read these lines also be moved and seek to always buy coffee from small coffee producer organizations. Let's exercise the power we have as consumers!!!
We greatly appreciate the support you have given to our project.Attachments: