Our Approach2020-10-16T11:14:40-04:00

Our Work

Food 4 Farmers was created to help coffee-farming families put nutritious food on the table every day – but the scale and scope of the problem are much broader.

This is why we collaborate with communities to develop strategies that reflect their changing needs and priorities and to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to independently manage this challenge over time.

We believe coffee farmers can lead the way to ensure that healthy, sustainable, locally-produced food is accessible in their rural communities. Good food can boost income, support climate resilience, and improve health. A sustainable local food system delivers an adequate supply of healthy food without expanding the farm’s footprint.

This ‘transFARMation’ is at the heart of our approach and is based on education and behavioral change. We work alongside farming families to transform coffee-dependent farms into thriving, diversified local food and economic hubs while continuing to produce coffee.

Projects & Partners

Our Approach

1 We build capacity from the inside out by cultivating leadership and expertise locally to lead and implement long-term strategies.

2 We collaborate with partners, cooperatives, and organizations deeply rooted in the communities they represent, so strategies fit each community’s culture, needs, and priorities.

3 We are data-driven, beginning with a participatory diagnostic that is inclusive and localized. Together, we create a roadmap for communities to achieve and measure results.

4 We are nimble. We provide an adaptable framework that supports a variety of community-led solutions.

5 We take a long-term approach, developing solutions based on trust and respect, because we understand that real and lasting change takes time and commitment.

Our Program Components

Every aspect of our work focuses on building our partners’ capacity to develop, manage, and sustain food security and livelihoods work on their own. From the diagnosis of an appropriate strategy, to project management, to monitoring and evaluation, to creating new business ventures, we work alongside our partners to ensure they can take greater control of food security in their communities.

Capacity Assessment

We begin each partnership by assessing the organizational capacity of our community partners, working with them to identify strengths, challenges, and opportunities. This creates a concrete understanding of organizational assets and weakness and provides the information needed to develop strategies with a strong likelihood of success. We work primarily with coffee cooperatives and community-based organizations representing small-scale farming families.

Food4Farmers Program Component: Capacity AssessmentCapacity Assessment: Capacity Assessment

Community Diagnosis

The second step in our partnership is to conduct a community diagnostic to develop appropriate strategies and a baseline analysis that will guide our work together. This participatory process includes farmers, their families, and organization staff and Board members, ensuring all voices are heard.

The community diagnostic provides crucial information about the current level of food insecurity available resources; regional, social, geographic and economic characteristics; and most importantly the main challenges of achieving healthy and sustainable livelihoods. This diagnostic allows us to develop a timeline, benchmarks, and outcomes to keep the work on track.

Food4Farmers Program Component: Capacity AssessmentCapacity Assessment: Community Diagnosisa

Plugging in Partners to Implement Strategies

Once key strategies are identified, we connect the community with local and regional organizations with reliable track records of implementing food security or agricultural diversification programs. To be successful, their mission and approach must be aligned with our own, as well as with the community’s goals.

Plugging in Partners to Implement Strategies

Monitoring & Evaluation

Our community diagnostic and baseline analyses lay the groundwork for us to build a robust monitoring & evaluation (M&E) system that fits the way our community partners work, reflecting their organizational capacity and culture.

A community-appropriate M&E system is essential to the success of a food security project. First, it keeps the community partner accountable to its stakeholders, like families who benefit from the project. Second, a strong M&E system helps the work stay on course by providing valuable information that allows our partners to identify what’s working – and what’s not – and make adjustments in a timely way, to improve results.

Monitoring & Evaluation

Building on Progress Over Time

As coffee co-ops develop the capacity to implement and manage projects successfully, they can then build on these successes by exploring additional ways to strengthen food security and livelihoods. Once a project is complete, we continue to work with our community partners in an advisory capacity, as they build on the foundation of success they’ve established.

Building on Progress Over Time

Learn more about our projects and partners:

Projects & Partners

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