Coffee Kids to Close

Coffee Kids, the coffee industry’s pioneering non-profit that worked in coffee-growing communities in Latin America, has announced it will shutter at the end of the year. The announcement was made late on December 15.

From the statement:

After serious deliberation, the Coffee Kids Board has decided to suspend programming, effective December 31, 2014. We will then search for an appropriate organization with which to merge. Understanding the time-sensitive nature of the situation, the deadline for this merger will be the end of the first quarter of 2015.
The Board of Directors and staff are completely committed to the mission of Coffee Kids and are thus hopeful that another organization will take on our work. We believe that supporting coffee communities as they solve their own most pressing social problems is the best way to build a more resilient coffee supply chain.

Read the full statement here.

Coffee Kids’s worked with organizations in coffee-growing countries throughout Latin America to support education, health care, food security, and provide coffee growers with other economic opportunities to protect them from the often volatile commodity market.

One project, in Paraxaj, Guatemala, supported the Las Nubes Center, which provided supplemental education and meals for the children of coffee farmers. It is a safe space for the children to stay as their parents work or study.

In a short interview with Fresh Cup, Rebecca Singer, Coffee Kids’ executive director, said, “Coffee Kids, like many small and large NGOs, has faced some financial challenges over the past several years that have made it impossible for us to continue working as we did.”

She said the organization is in the process of finding a partner to work with.

On social media, the response has been to register surprise and thanks.

Grounds for Health, a group that works to increase screenings and treatment of cervical cancer at origin, wrote on Facebook: “Thank you for your incredible work over the years. You blazed the trail and we’ll do our best to carry on. We’re in this together and we’re sure your work will live on.”

Mark Inman of Olam Coffee wrote, “Wow! Was not happy to see this post. I will miss all the great work you all have done over the years.”