Azahar Coffee

Purchasing and processing green coffee beans directly from smallholder farmers in Colombia’s post-conflict areas.

Investment Snapshot

6,000

Lives
Impacted

$1M

Total
Invested

2016

First Year
of Investment

THE CHALLENGE

Over 560,000 rural smallholder farmers in Colombia rely on coffee production to make a living. In recent years, due to increasing costs of production, low productivity and fluctuating global coffee prices, coffee farming has become increasingly unprofitable for farmers. Additionally, the widespread prevalence of middlemen, standing between the farmers and end consumers, significantly reduces the amount of profit that makes its way back to growers.

THE INNOVATION 

Azahar is focused on ensuring farmers’ profitability by establishing direct relationships with both rural coffee farmers and roasters, cutting out middlemen. Azahar commits to purchasing green coffee beans from rural growers throughout Colombia, including in post-conflict areas, at fixed premium prices, typically 50-70% above local going market rate. Azahar also provides training to farmers in order to help them produce the highest-quality, coffee beans—enabling them to sell to demanding specialty buyers at premium prices.

THE IMPACT

Approximately 95% of coffee farmers make less than US $4 per day. Azahar work is almost entirely focused on rural farming communities that are not only affected by high poverty rates and social and economic exclusion—the majority of Azahar’s farmer customers live on USD $2-2.50 per day—but which have been affected by Colombia’s long-standing armed conflict as well. The company is currently impacting the livelihoods of more than 1,500 smallholder farmers by enabling them to increase their incomes by 50-70%.