H.E.L.P. – Helping people help themselves
We at J.J. Darboven believe: Anyone who wants to enjoy high-quality coffee should also consider the living conditions of the coffee growers in the region of its origin. We have always regarded coffee as a way of life. Following this mindset, we launched the Honduras Education Life Project (H.E.L.P.) in 2015 together with ofi, one of the world's leading green coffee trading companies.
This project aims to improve the lives of micro-producers and their families in Santa Bárbara, Honduras, one of the poorest coffee-growing regions in Latin America. Together, at eye level, and through targeted help for self-help.
J.J. Darboven employees see the progress on site
We regularly visit the project sites to discuss the current situation and the effectiveness of the measures implemented with the agronomists of our project partner ofi, especially with the project participants. We want to provide support where it is most urgently needed to create something valuable together. We also maintain a close exchange with our partner ofi from afar and jointly determine the next steps.
We Europeans love our coffee. In our part of the world the leading coffee-drinkers are the Scandinavians, by a good margin, but coffee is important everywhere, as a morning waker-upper, office caffeinator, or café relaxant. Coffee is the second biggest trade item on the world market, and the most popular drink of our time. During the past 20 years, world coffee consumption has almost doubled, driven by the continuing penetration of new markets by café chains. Considering this popularity, it’s odd that we pay so little attention to where our beloved pick-me-up comes from.
Who is thinking of the coffee growers at the origin of our beans while having their morning coffee? In Honduras, for example, the coffee harvest is very time-consuming and exhausting for small farmers. The Arabica coffee cherries grown there grow on mountain slopes that are difficult to access, are harvested individually by hand and then carried in baskets on the back to the small haciendas of the coffee growers. For 500 g of coffee beans, a coffee farmer has to pick and process approx. 2.5 kg of coffee cherries, while in Germany we simply reach for the supermarket shelf.
For us, coffee has always been one of the good things in life. At J.J. Darboven we think that if you’re going to enjoy top-quality coffee you should also give some thought to the quality of life of the people who grow the coffee at the source. Accordingly, for the 150th anniversary of the company we decided to set up an aid project for coffee growers and their families in Honduras. Together with OFI, a raw materials supplier active worldwide, we founded the Honduras Education Life Project, or H.E.L.P. for short.
Currently, we offer our more than 200 participants tailored support for smaller and larger projects. Since the beginning, in addition to continuing and expanding existing activities, the focus has been on improving educational opportunities for coffee growers’ children. Further, we currently plan to support to build three clinics to improve local medical care.
In the first two years of the H.E.L.P. project in Santa Bárbara, with our help participating farmers succeeded in improving the quality of their Arabica coffee to the extent that we now use the beans for our IDEE KAFFEE products. This shows our support and appreciation for the hard work of the existing H.E.L.P. project participants, and creates a motivation for new ones. The aid project is also featured on IDEE KAFFEE packages.
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