Investing in our community
Building trust in communities includes showing that we care about local people and their social and economic development in more ways than meeting food and nutritional needs through our products. We aim to maintain a strong connection in the local communities in which we do business by helping to improve their lives through both the way we work and the initiatives that we advance. We engage with our communities in several ways, using different approaches, from the more immediate response to a specific requirement to supporting long-term projects that deliver a step-change in the quality of life.
Spotlight on Uganda
In 2017, Strauss Coffee engaged with Kyagalanyi Coffee Ltd, the largest Ugandan coffee exporter and part of the VOLCAFE Group. Since 2008, Kyagalanyi has been steadily building a strong farmer support program in Uganda that assists coffee growers in three Arabica regions to increase production and quality and grower income. Kyagalanyi Coffee maintains training programs for coffee growers in several regions. Our first projects started by investing in equipment to increase the value of coffee yields and grower income. In 2017 and 2018, Strauss Coffee partnered with Kyagalanyi Coffee in two innovative initiatives:
The Gender for Growth program: This 3-year program promotes gender equity benefits for over 2,300 households. Strauss Coffee strengthens this program by funding a range of tools, including the Gender Harvest Game. This innovative game simulates the daily life of coffee growers during the annual coffee cycle, teaching couples how to make joint decisions about coffee farm management. Strauss Coffee also provides rewards, in the form of seedlings, fertilizer or equipment to households that have improved their gender relations.
Rwenzori Farmer Support Program: This 6-year project aims to improve the livelihoods of over 7,500 coffee farmers in the Rwenzori mountain range, on the border of Congo. The first 3 years of the project focus on building a strong farmer support team, setting up demonstration farms and running agronomy training. In 2018, more than 5,900 farmers (of which 50% were women) benefited from training sessions held in more than 3,000 individual farm visits. In addition, 478 training sessions were carried out on 33 newly established demonstration plots. Training sessions are typically run by women nominated as “Gender Ambassadors”. More than 7,000 farmers, of which 35% were women, attended these group training sessions in 2018.