Robusta coffee production declined in Haiti at the same time that demand for the Haitian-grown Robusta was increasing. The 1804 Coffee company identifies this as a window of opportunity to renew the Haitian industry. Though they are using Robusta, they are employing sustainable farming practices.
They work with smallholder farmers to provide them with improved agricultural techniques, farming inputs, and opportunities for additional income streams. The co-op has also been able to create its own standards of production that are ethical for the environment, fair trade, and quality standards.
It is not clear what the long-term impacts of these interventions will be – even if they represent progress on some fronts there is still so much work to do on others. It is also not clear how many of these farmers will maintain the high standards the co-op has set.
However, it is evident that smallholder farmers can benefit from even modest improvements in productivity and income. The more self-sufficient they are and the more marketable products they create (e.g., organic coffee, cocoa), the less likely they are to be reliant on external actors for their livelihoods.
It seems as though the co-op is largely successful in its goals of increasing quality and quantity of production, improving incomes and working conditions, and supporting rural development.
Their interventions will ultimately increase local coffee consumption by creating a market for a higher quality Haitian product.
They will also improve the local economy, create jobs, and maintain the Haitian environment that is uniquely rich in biodiversity.
There is no evidence that there are detrimental side effects of 1804’s interventions. The co-op seems to be sustainable on its own without external financial support though it is possible that they could attract more farmers to join if they offered additional benefits.
The co-op also has a formal feedback system in place so that farmers can communicate problems directly with the president. He is responsive and does what he can to address their concerns.
It seems as though this organization does not face any major challenges or obstacles at the moment, but there are still some aspects of future development that should be considered.
They are not yet committed to producing organically certified coffee, but that is one of their goals for the coming years.
It may be difficult for them to find the resources they need to accomplish this since it will require an investment in land, education, and technical assistance. The organization may need outside financial support to make this goal a reality.
They are already expanding in the Haitian market, so they may be interested in looking for international markets with an additional revenue stream.
It is evident that this organization has many positive aspects when compared to other groups working with smallholder farmers.
They do not seem to use exploitative or coercive business practices and their interventions often result in sustainable improvements for the farmers they work with. However, it is unclear if their progress was planned or whether it has occurred naturally.
It seems that much of this positive change has come about unintentionally or spontaneously rather than through direct intervention by the co-op’s employees.
The loans provided by the organization are repaid at a high rate, so there is no evidence of widespread debt problems or exploitative lending. However, it is unclear if this creates a culture of dependency in the farmers they have worked with since many have been seeking loans from various sources for years.
The co-op does not produce organic coffee, but they are working towards that goal in future years. It can be difficult to find all the necessary support and technical assistance they need in order to accomplish this, but they have a plan for meeting these needs by the end of 2016.
The organization is in a good position financially since its current earnings are sufficient to cover all its costs. They will only be able to increase staff if there is an increase in demand for their coffee, which could create more jobs.
They are still sorting out the details of what will happen after their contract with Starbucks is complete in 2016, but they have stated that they do not want to go back to selling commodity coffee.
They would like to continue expanding into international markets and may branch out into different products such as cocoa or shrimp production.
One possible development is for them to become a multi-stakeholder co-op so that farmers can collectively influence decisions about what products to produce and how those products will be marketed.
The project has received recognition from many organizations, including the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s “Coffee of the Year” award in 2014. They have also been featured in several coffee industry publications such as “The New York Times” and “Forbes”.
There is a high level of communication between the organization and its clients, which has kept them satisfied with their participation in the 1804 project. Farmers report that they feel like part of a community and appreciate the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques. This has helped to create a level of trust and mutual respect that can be difficult to achieve between farmers and buyers.
The co-op remains committed to working with smallholder farmers who face exploitation from other companies. Starbucks ‘ direct purchase enables the organization to pay higher prices than those offered by commodity markets, which helps to give them more bargaining power.
They are also committed to providing support to farmers who make up the co-op, which helps these individuals become more resilient.
By working with smallholder farmers, the organization has increased access to coffee production for many Haitians who were not able to work in this area before. This has helped them create a new revenue stream that can help them support their families.
By providing farmers with new skills and training, the organization has helped to create a more skilled workforce that is less vulnerable to exploitation. This will also be beneficial after they end their contract with Starbucks in 2016 since they will need to continue hiring people who are able to provide high-quality coffee.
The organization is committed to transparency and is currently releasing reports on its progress. They are also having an open dialogue about what they have achieved so far and what challenges they still face, which has helped them become more accountable to their clients.
Starbucks created a contract that allows farmers to produce coffee without feeling like they are sacrificing quality in order to meet the company’s price and volume expectations.
This contract has helped the organization to serve as an intermediary between smallholder farmers and Starbucks by setting prices and agreements, which allows them to play a more influential role in the market.
Cooperative relationships like this one can be difficult to establish since both parties want to protect their interests, but there is a shared vision that can help to motivate everyone involved.
The contract between Haiti Coffee Academy and Starbucks was reached after multiple meetings, which allowed both parties to communicate their interests and concerns.
The organization is committed to creating a model of cooperative trade that other projects in Haiti may want to follow. As a result, they have been asked about what advice they would give to coffee farmers who want to produce high-quality coffee.
They have stated that if farmers are committed to producing quality, they should invest in the right varieties of trees and improve their processing methods.
The organization is demonstrating that small farmer cooperatives can rise from being marginalized producers to becoming a force with which corporations have to contend. This model may be able to help other smallholder farmers in Haiti improve their yields and build new sources of revenue.
While the organization has helped some Haitian coffee producers to increase their productivity, there is still a question about how they will be able to meet future demand. By 2016, 5 million pounds of coffee will need to be provided for Starbucks and this amount may be difficult to produce without expanding the workforce.
The organization is committed to increasing the number of farmers who are producing high-quality coffee for Starbucks, but there may not be enough people willing or able to do so. This could lead to a decline in quality or pressure farmers to expand their production regardless of whether it can be sustained.
By focusing on creating a stable coffee market for Haitian farmers, the organization has helped to lower the volatility of prices at local markets and create an easier entry point for citizens looking to invest in this industry. This could be beneficial since it may encourage citizens to investigate whether they can make money by investing in coffee production.
By working with smallholder farmers, the organization has helped to create a cooperative that has been able to increase quality and move from producing commodity coffee into producing specialty coffee. This could be beneficial since it may help the organization receive higher prices for their products, which can generate more income for farming communities.
By working with Starbuck, the organization has been able to purchase equipment and establish relationships that will help to make Haitian coffee production more sustainable and competitive. This could be beneficial since it may open the market beyond what the organization is currently able to provide and generate higher profits for farmers.
People looking to invest in Haiti Coffee Academy should be aware that the group is still working on growing its organization and does not yet have a proven track record of success.
In addition, people who are interested in investing should be aware that their business model relies on close relationships between organizations and they may have difficulty expanding into new markets.
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