September 1, 2018, was a true highlight in the journey of Bean Voyage. This was the day when we graduated our first official batch of Care Traders. In total, 47 smallholder women coffee producers have now participated in our training programs and benefited from increased knowledge on sustainable coffee production, community-based processing, roasting, cupping and business skills. Over the past four months, these producers dedicated each Saturday (and sometimes both Friday and Sundays) towards their personal growth as coffee entrepreneurs so they can eventually drive their communities towards a sustainable future. The training sessions included topics such as organic farming, community-based processing, roasting, cupping, and business skills.
However, this graduation wasn’t your traditional ceremony — it was an opportunity for our producers to showcase their learning with the rest of their community. During the first half of the day, producers were divided into different groups and then provided with an opportunity to showcase their knowledge in front of the community in the form of a presentation. The presentations were divided into five parts: vermicomposting and natural plant protection, budgeting and financial planning, roasting and cupping, plant diversification, and community building. The day-long graduation ceremony was attended by the community members, our trainers, and our supporters in Costa Rica.
We wanted to take this opportunity to share what went well, what was a bit challenging and new ideas for the future:
What went well:
What could be better:
Ideas for future graduation:
Up next, we will establish business partnerships around the world to connect each of our graduating producers with buyers so they can generate 200% more income than fair trade minimums, and drive their communities towards a sustainable future. Our team is spread across the world to achieve this, and will be hosting a series of events at offices and coffee shops to share our work with consumers — from Berlin to New York, from Tokyo to London — we will be taking this voyage global!
In the meantime, we also hope to spend the next three months monitoring the progress of our training curriculum on each farm. We have been joined by Anna De Borst, and she will be conducting monitoring and evaluation to help us understand the results in the community and better prepare our model for scale and impact.
Finally, we would like to thank our supporters, donors, mentors, trainers, and teammates for their belief and constant support of our mission. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today — thank you!
And special thanks to the following organizations and donor for making this year’s training and graduation possible.
Thank you for your support! If you would like to try the coffee of some of our recent graduates, go to our website and find your favorite coffee flavors!