International Coffee Day is celebrated on 1st October every year as an occasion to bring together coffee lovers in a worldwide celebration to share their love of coffee and bring in awareness of the plight of the millions of coffee farmers whose livelihoods depend on it.
Celebrated under the aegis of the International Coffee Organization and its 75 Member States including Ethiopia, International Coffee Day was first launched in Milan as part of Expo 2015.
The International Coffee Organization is an intergovernmental organization that brings together coffee exporting and importing governments through international cooperation with the aim of creating a sustainable ecosystem for coffee production and lowering poverty levels in coffee producing countries.
Small coffee farmers world over are struggling due to low coffee prices as well as global challenges, such as the impacts of climate change and higher cost of production. To make matters worse covid-19 pandemic has also created an unprecedented situation in the coffee industry, negatively impacting both supply and demand in parallel for the first time. These issues are forcing farmers to search for other avenues for sustenance. Female farmers are the worse affected by these challenges.
Several NGO’S and some government interventions are working with the farmers to improve their production capabilities, but they are not enough. The underlying problem is that no appropriate organized partnership exists to bring together various stakeholders to unify efforts to start pulling the farmers out of the current abyss of their struggles.
In the light of these events International Coffee Day-2020 focuses on the theme ‘Coffee’s Next Generation’. The programme intends to involve ICO Members and all coffee stakeholders to work together with the industry leaders, youth organisations, international organisations, development and financial partners as well as coffee consumers, to invest in the youth and breathe life to their innovative ideas and enthusiasm to benefit the whole coffee community and to recover from the pandemic building a more prosperous future.
With the adequate financial support with skills development and training the programme aims to ensure sustainability and scaling of innovative next generation endeavour in the coffee sector.
There are a number of ways the global community can get involved in the Coffee’s Next Generation” programme through initiatives like educational support, knowledge sharing, partnership and many more. So let us all join hands together for the love of coffee and for the farmers whose lives depend on it.