Supporting Farmer Livelihood for the Future of Coffee

November 29, 2018

Nearly 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihood[1]. In Colombia, the majority of coffee production comes from small, family-owned farms no more than 5-12 acres in size[2]. In Central America, farms with less than 7.5 acres of land produce 80% of the region's coffee[3]. While many of these farmers have worked in coffee production for generations, they are now struggling to navigate the realities of farming given these ever-changing environmental conditions.

As one of the world’s leading coffee retailers, we at McDonald’s are using our scale to help these farmers – who are integral to our supply chain – learn and implement more sustainable farming practices ensuring a better future for the coffee production industry.

In 2016, McDonald’s launched the McCafé Sustainability Improvement Platform (SIP), a partnership with Conservation International. Since 2012, the McDonald’s system has invested millions of dollars to train nearly 20,000 farmers on sustainable practices — ranging from reforestation to water quality — so they can continue to steward their land and ensure a sustainable supply of coffee.

Since 2012, McDonald’s has partnered with TechnoServe to train nearly 15,000 Guatemalan farmers in sustainable coffee-growing practices. Participating farmers who completed the training reported harvesting 48% bigger yields* in production of green coffee than their neighbors despite difficult weather conditions and widespread Coffee Rust disease.

We’re seeing great results from our efforts to improve farmer livelihood, so now we’re focusing on using our size and scale to make the platform even more widely available. Learn more about McCafé SIP and everything we’re doing to support sustainable coffee production here.

[1] Source: World Coffee Research

[2] Source: Café de Colombia

[3] Source: NPR