In September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and María destroyed over 80% of Puerto Rico’s coffee harvest and trees, resulting in an estimated total loss of $85 million USD for coffee farmers. Nearly 30% of Puerto Rico’s municipalities rely on coffee production for income and employment, making it an important economic engine that impacts at least 10,000 people including 2,300 coffee farmers.
The aftermath of the hurricanes has been devastating for the coffee industry, but it has also provided a unique and time-sensitive opportunity to rebuild this economic engine from the ground up, leaving it stronger and more climate resilient than before. The success of this long-term recovery requires economic empowerment and increased technical assistance for communities across Puerto Rico.
We have brought together a public and private collaboration including small and medium-scale coffee growers, government, business, research, philanthropy and advocacy, NGOs and non-profits supporting communities across the island. We seek to drive long-term economic development in Puerto Rico by supporting smallholder famers and local businesses to revitalize the island’s coffee industry which faces dire and immediate challenges.
Our vision is to increase the long-term resilience and economic performance of the sector by bringing together a holistic support model, led by Puerto Rican organizations where possible, to address the critical needs from seed to cup. A rigorous diagnostic by leading research organizations highlighted immediate priorities including diversifying and improving the quality of coffee seed material on the island; rebuilding capacity in nurseries; and sharing farm management best practices to elevate the production and quality of an industry in immediate peril.
We launched a 3-year initiative (2019-2022) to revitalize the coffee value chain addressing immediate farm needs and long-term goals in collaboration with the government. The program is kicking off with farmers receiving premium, highly resilient coffee seeds and much needed technical support to grow sustainable and more productive coffee crops.
Assess post-María landscape + determine needs and opportunities
Harvest and sell coffee to local and global consumers
Latest update from the Coffee Sector Revitalization
George Clooney Visits Puerto Rico's Coffee Growers With Nespresso
Our Press Release: Hispanic Federation Launches Coffee Development Initiative in Puerto Rico