The coffee producers who were part of the commercial mission from Honduras to Switzerland and the business support organisation were supported by Swisscontact and Dr. Ingrid Fromm of the Berne University of Applied Sciences HAFL, who acted as consultant for this trade and learning mission. The participants were able to better understand the Swiss coffee market and the role that Honduran coffee plays in both the commercial and speciality segments of the business. The Honduran companies met with Fairtrade Max Havelaar, speciality coffee roasters ViCafé, Algrano, Starbucks, Keurig Dr Pepper and Nestlé. The participants also had the opportunity to share their vision of the current challenges and opportunities for sustainable coffee in Honduras with Swisscontact CEO Philippe Schneuwly and Molinos de Honduras/Volcafé General Manager Frank Reese.
Evelyn Moradel, Technical Assistant for the Inclusive Coffee project in Honduras, explained how Swisscontact focuses on 'last mile' activities with exporters and relevant trade ecosystem partners, such as AMUCAFE and other relevant trade partners. The project helps them improve the export system through capacity building to access international trade platforms, coaching, international networking and access to export-related information.
Swisscontact's work in international trade aims to better integrate less developed economies into the global economy - with a particular focus on the European and Swiss markets. In this context, five sustainable and inclusive coffee companies that are part of Swisscontact's Inclusive Coffee project participated in a 3-day trade mission to the cities of Zurich, Lausanne and Vevey. The Honduran coffee producer groups visiting Switzerland were Empresa Aruco, Pacayal Coffee, Asociación Clave de Sol, Exportadora de Occidente and AMUCAFE.
Ana Estevez, Quality Control Manager at Empresa Aruco and a certified Q-Grader, said the trade mission not only provided new knowledge about the Swiss market and how different companies value Honduran coffee. She also pointed out that it was great to confirm that both sides are interested and committed to sustainability, the inclusion of youth and women, and to building solid partnerships.
For Nelly Manzanares, from Exportadora de Occidente, the exchange with leading coffee companies shed a light on the level of commitment and collaboration that exists in the sector with regards to sustainability.
This project is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA.