While the Covid‐19 pandemic has created an incredibly difficult context for many producer organizations to work and thrive, it has also opened new opportunities. With travel restrictions and social distancing measures in place, coffee professionals have moved to social media channels and digital platforms to connect, learn, and share best practices.
To support the producer organizations in achieving financial profitability and sustainability by building their digital capabilities to leverage the benefit of the tool, Fairtrade International along with Fairtrade NAPP had partnered with VUNA Origin Consulting in 2022 and launched an online, interactive Fairtrade Coffee School.
The Fairtrade Coffee School was designed to support small-scale producer organisations in strengthening their commercial growth and access to new markets via tailor-made courses accessible through a multilingual training platform that runs 24/7 across all producing regions.
The first course on Green coffee trading fundamentals was completed in 2022 and was meant to equip the students with the tool and practical tips on how to execute green coffee trading strategies in their business and optimise profits.
Running a digital business is more than having a website or social medial account. It has a complex set of principles as the digital world keeps evolving and the client’s behavior/expectation changes accordingly. The second Virtual course of Fairtrade Coffee School on Digital Market Access and Client Engagement was designed to equip students with tools and practical tips on initiating, executing, maintaining, and optimizing the organization’s digital strategy in the next 1-3 years.
The training was delivered by Dennise, an e-commerce and digital growth professional with 15+ years of working in the sector, for 40+ upcoming and household-known brands. The course was completed by 40 students comprising 35 SPO members. internal NAPP staff and commercial partners.
The Fairtrade Coffee School offered by Vuna Coffee School was highly beneficial and a turning point for our trading of organic and Fairtrade-certified green coffee from our small farmers. How to do harvest projections, how to design a good selling strategy, how to get steps to avoid price risks and the importance of good governance in coffee trading were the takeaways for us. The digital market transformation has become the new norm. Building a brand value on the true story of a producer organization, engaging with clients, and using digital channels to reach out to new customers and project the brand image was indeed useful for us as a farmer organization wish Fairtrade Coffee School and Vuna Coffee School will continue to serve the disadvantaged producers and consumers and empower small-scale producers to find better markets and strategies for sustaining their livelihood.
Dr. Thomas Jacob; PDS Organic Spices; India
We can take a lot from participating in the Vuna Fairtrade Coffee School, starting from the history of coffee that not many people know about and also strategies in selling coffee such as making product names that have a history so that buyers are interested in buying our products, also, digitization to develop products using a website which is very helpful in accessing the market, this also makes it easier for buyers to find out about our institutions or cooperatives. Your guidance is very important, Thank you so much!
Loli; Kopepi Ketiara; Indonesia
The GGC team thought Vuna/Fairtrade Coffee School (online) courses were very useful and effective for our Small-scale Producers Organization. It was a great opportunity for us and we will apply these lessons and knowledge to our daily coffee business activities. Before attending the training the team had limited knowledge of Marketing. We have improved our knowledge of Digital Market Access & Client Engagement after having taken the course including live coaching sessions.
Ko Sai; Green Gold Coffee Farming General Co-operative Society Limited, Myanmar