Diversifying coffee farming is crucial for a thriving coffee industry and the well-being of small producers. With the climate changing and coffee prices diving, now more than ever it is essential to work with and learn from small-farmers on best practices for climate-resilient agriculture. In this webinar we get an opportunity to hear from multiple partners of one most innovative and collaborative research and training projects around diversification and coffee.
The Community Agroecology Network's Coffee Diversification Project brings together farmers, farmers' cooperatives and researchers to learn together about what diversification activities work and why, in a farmer knowledge exchange. This project is a collaboration with two coffee cooperatives, CESMACH & PRODECOOP, along with Santa Clara University, the University of Vermont and the Community Agroecology Network.
On the webinar we will hear from Coffee Cooperative CESMACH, the University of Vermont and the Community Agroecology Network on the impacts of collaborative research and the importance of diversifying coffee systems. Since a large portion of the project is centered around the cross-site farmer exchanged, we will be breaking down the lessons learned from the previous farmer exchange held in Nicaragua in November and discuss the goals for the exchange coming up in Mexico this August. Together as producers, researchers, retailers and supporters we can learn from each other and drive forward a better future.
Rigoberto Hernández Jonapá is the Mexico Coordinator for the“Assessment of Diversification Strategies in Smallholder Coffee Systems of Mesoamerica” Project and a member of the cooperative CESMACH (Campesinos Ecológicos de la Sierra Madre de Chiapas) . Rigoberto holds a degree in Biology, having graduated from the University of Sciences and Arts of Chiapas in 1996. He has conducted studies related to endangered species in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and is the Coordinator of a conservation project in rural communities. He is currently collaborating as local coordinator of the project 'Assessment of Diversification Strategies in Smallholder Coffee Systems of Mesoamerica'.
Bernardo Roblero Pérez is a young coffee and honey producer from the Nueva Colombia community, municipality of Ángel Albino Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico. Bernardo has been working with CESMACH as an internal inspector of organic coffee for three years. Currently he collaborates with the project as a community researcher.
Janica Anderzen is a PhD student from the University of Vermont. Between and during her studies, she has worked in several environmental, educational and human rights NGOs in Finland and abroad. Her dissertation work is linked to a three-year, collaborative and participatory research project, Assessment of Diversification Strategies in Smallholder Coffee Systems of Mesoamerica. The project explores economic, ecological and social impacts of selected diversification strategies in smallholder coffee communities in Mexico and Nicaragua. Her Master’s thesis in Development Studies focused on social and economic impacts of coffee rust on small-scale coffee farmers’ livelihoods in Chiapas, Mexico.
Alejandra Guzmán Luna works as the Project Manager for the Community Agroecology Network. After some years working as an independent consultant on environmental impact assessments, Alejandra recognized the necessity to link conserving nature, food production, and farmers’ lives if we want to conserve them. She works with CAN as the Project Manager coordinating the constant dialogue with farmers, coffee producers and scholars in a context of Participatory Action Research in order to create alternatives that may improve people's food security and their livelihoods, as well as combining science with a community engagement.
CESMACH: Campesinos Ecológicos de la Sierra Madre was founded in 1994 by a group of farmers who participated in an organic coffee project implemented by the Natural Area El Triunfo. CESMACH has 619 farmer members of 43 communities, and it has organic and Fair Trade certifications.
University of Vermont: Since 1791, the University of Vermont has worked to move humankind forward. Today, it is a Public Ivy and top 100 research university of a perfect size, large enough to offer a breadth of ideas, resources, and opportunities, yet small enough to enable close faculty-student mentorship across all levels of study, from bachelor’s to M.D. programs.
The Community Agroecology Network: is a non-profit organization whose mission is to sustain rural livelihoods and environments in the global south through the integration of agroecology-based research, education, and development strategies. Its work is both regional and global, with projects and activities in Mexico, Central America, and the United States, and our International Agroecology Shortcourse, which has trained hundreds of farmers, researchers, and community leaders from around the world since 2000.