The Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) is a UK-registered charity who works with smallholder farmers and their organisations. Our current programmes reach ~280,000 smallholder tea, coffee and cocoa smallholder farmers across 12 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

The Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation was established to be an organisation led by smallholder producers, for smallholder producers.  We’ve seen first-hand the wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise which exists in underserved rural farming communities. CPF’s model and approach focuses on creating opportunities for smallholders to share, build upon and strengthen this knowledge and expertise.

For African smallholders, necessity drives innovation and entrepreneurship. Smallholders share challenges such as managing farming practices and natural resources in a sustainable way, increasing incomes and mitigating climate change. Although addressing these challenges on low budgets and with limited access to support is difficult, a diverse range of innovations are developed by farmers. Despite this richness of entrepreneurial ideas and approaches, smallholders are rarely recognised as innovators with valuable expertise to share.

Their 4-year project fills a significant gap in the market by establishing a model for developing and scaling a farmer-farmer extension service, driven by the needs and priorities of smallholders. Activities will build on achievements and lessons learned from CPF investment in producer-led programmes with smallholder organisations over the past 5 years.

Three organisations will act as ‘Centres of Excellence,’ promoting innovation amongst a wider group of ten coffee and tea cooperatives from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and building capacity through training-of-the trainer and farmer-promoter approaches. Smallholders will be supported to share information in person and remotely through WeFarm. This will result in a sustainable support model which enables African producers to improve their knowledge, decision-making skills and livelihoods. They are nearly halfway through this project and encouraged to see the model building pride and confidence among smallholders, who are active leaders and experts empowered to share innovations and lead training events benefiting other farmers.

One Big Tweet is a campaign that harnesses the power of social influence to let people literally donate money to the Cafedirect Producers Foundation for free!

It works by asking people to ‘donate’ their followers instead of asking for any money. By donating their followers individuals are pledging to let us send one automatic retweet from their account to their followers. This automatic retweet will be the One Big Tweet, which we will auction off to raise money for the Cafedirect Producers Foundation- a charity working with farmers in Africa and Latin America.The basic premise being that the more followers donated, the greater the value to our eventual sponsor, and the more money Cafedirect can raise to help farmers!

Learn more here about cool stuff our Garage members are doing!