Pour que les femmes et les hommes
vivent de la terre durablement

Food security and high-quality coffee in Haiti

Supporting the competitiveness of the smallholder coffee sector in the Thiotte and Baptiste regions and at the national level by strengthening 25 cooperatives (10,000 producers) in terms of production, quality control, management, access to capital, marke

  • Bénéficiaire dans son jardin créole_6846711427_o.jpg
  • Femmes - Plantation d'un pied de cafe_6476395391_o.jpg
  • Graines de café Belle Anse Haiti_6476399177_o.jpg

Coffee production is a very important industry in Haiti. More than 200,000 families grow coffee in order to earn the income they need to feed themselves and send their children to school. Coffee is Haiti’s number one exported crop, and the sector generates tens of thousands of seasonal jobs. In this almost entirely deforested country, ensuring the survival of the agro-forestry systems that are used to grow coffee, citrus fruit, and avocados is an environmental priority. However, the coffee sector is in the midst of a crisis due to chronic political insecurity, the degradation of infrastructure and services, price volatility, prices that make it difficult for producers to turn a profit, and a lack of competition among players in the industry. Haiti is currently producing only half as much coffee as it was 50 years ago. Yields are extremely low, and the percentage of low-quality coffee deemed unfit for export can sometimes reach as high as 50%.

About 15 years ago, through the coordinated effots of AVSF and French buyers such as Ethiquable and Malongo, cooperatives in Haiti began working to improve the quality of their coffee production by fermenting and washing their beans. These cooperatives also began exporting their production directly to fair-trade markets.

Today, 25 cooperatives (representing 10,000 smallholders and their facilities) export their production in small quantities. In late 2012, AVSF launched a new activity called ”Korékafé.” The activity has four major objectives:

  • to strengthen the managerial capacities of the 25 cooperatives by providing managerial training for 150 young members, managers, and elected leaders;
  • to ensure production of the highest quality by experimenting with and sharing agro-ecological techniques for increasing yields, improving infrastructure for fermentation, and training young quality-control managers;
  • to develop new services that cooperatives can offer producers (microlending, farming-equipment rentals, seedling production, roasting, etc.);
  • to improve the governance of the sector by providing institutional support to the Institut National du Café Haïtien and the Plateforme Nationale des Petits Producteurs.