Future-proof coffee thanks to Karina in Ecuador

Future-proof coffee thanks to Karina in Ecuador

in News
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Annelies Adam
Annelies Adam

For many farming families in Ecuador, it is a challenge to make a living from coffee. Production costs for coffee in Ecuador are among the highest in Latin America. It also requires a lot of patience and energy to bring a coffee plant to fruition, especially in the current climatic conditions.

For this reason, many farmers opt for monoculture of crops with a higher yield or for abandoning the farm in its entirety. Organic farming, which requires even more care, is often not even considered. This way, coffee cultivation contributes little to a fair food system. But it can be different. Good food is also possible thanks to good coffee.

How do you shift the benchmarks of such a sector? With inspiring stories that push boundaries.

#YouthinAg: meet Karina

Karina Lopez grew up as the daughter of coffee farmers in Ibarra, Ecuador. Like many young people in her region, she didn't see much future in agriculture or the product her family grows.

How do you make the world a better place with coffee? With the support of her parents, RAPCI, the coffee farmer organisation to which they are affiliated, and Rikolto, she was given the opportunity to participate in cupping training in Nariño – Colombia. During this four-month training, she became a talented coffee taster.

The producers in our cooperative trust me. What I do and share is important to them and that motivates me enormously. Coffee may not be a vital food, but it is the bread on our plate. The choice for quality and sustainability does make coffee cultivation a game changer for the agricultural sector.

Karina Lopez Barista at the RAPCIC cooperative in Ecuador

In a region and sector in which opportunities for women are not readily available, Karina is now in a strong position. She was immediately able to join the RAPCIC cooperative and today helps ensure that the farmers (including her parents), who are affiliated with the cooperative, can deliver better quality coffee beans.

This has a positive influence on their income and also enables them to invest in sustainable agriculture. All this makes a huge difference to the quality of life, biodiversity and resilience of this region.

Karina now provides training herself and is determined to grow further as a specialist in quality coffee. She decided to continue studying German and English at university and obtain her license as a Q grader.

With Rikolto's support, she is putting RAPCIC and everything it represents on the map.

If you want to know more about the project reach our colleague:

Ricardo Garcés
Ricardo Garcés
Coordinador del Programa Cacao y Café Sostenibles | Ecuador

Meet more inspiring young people harvesting future-proof solutions in the food system

Young people worldwide are turning their backs on the agricultural sector. They see no future in food production. Yet an innovative approach to the production, cultivation and marketing of food provides the leverage for a fair and more sustainable future.