Why Coffee Growing Communities?
Coffee is one of the largest and most powerful industries in the world. In fact, coffee is the second most traded commodity after crude oil. Over 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed globally each year, and every one of these cups provides an opportunity to make a difference.
The majority of the worlds coffee comes from developing countries, where for many access to clean drinking water is still a daily struggle.
We believe the coffee industry and coffee drinkers across the world have the power to make a real and positive impact on the communities at the end of the coffee supply chain.
Coffee and Water - The Link
The communities that grow our coffee are facing a water crisis. This crisis has the biggest impact on rural communities – so those very people who are growing our coffee are among those that suffer the most.
Coffee is a water intensive crop with a large water footprint. Up to 840l of water is needed to make one 750ml pot of coffee. That’s more than tea, more than sugar, more than wheat, more than barley.
The End Cup
To make great coffee, to respect the flavours in that coffee, you need great water. The coffee we enjoy in coffee shops uses only the purest filtered water, and meanwhile the countries where that coffee comes from are facing a water crisis.
Access to clean water is the first step in breaking the poverty cycle. Clean water not only improves the health and well-being of communities affected by the global water crisis; it also means greater access to education, income and ultimately a better life.
Women and Children
Collecting water is a burden which often falls on women and young girls. Every day, women spend up to 8 hours collecting water which can be up to 15km away.
The average weight of the water carried home is 20 kilos, the same as an airport baggage allowance. Carrying this weight every day can cause many health problems including spinal and pelvic deformities, miscarriages and chronic fatigue.
Young girls will often follow in their mother’s footsteps and dedicate their time to collecting water for their families rather than attending school with their brothers.
Health and Sanitation
One third of the world’s population does not have access to adequate sanitation.
Untreated contaminated water causes a number of diseases, which have symptoms ranging from chronic fatigue to death. This affects children the most, where 1 in 5 deaths under the age of 5 are caused by water-related diseases.
Building strong communities
Access to safe, clean water is a crucial step in breaking the poverty cycle. With a reliable water source close by, women and girls can invest their time in other activities such as growing healthy food, going to school or starting a small business. Clean water and toilet facilities in schools have a huge impact on attendance, particularly for girls.