Inclusive Coffee: Promoting sustainable markets

The project seeks to reduce the existing inequalities in the sustainable coffee value chain in order to create more resilient livelihoods for smallholder sustainable coffee farmers.
Departamento de Choluteca, Honduras
Departamento de Comayagua, Honduras 
Departamento de El Paraiso, Honduras
Departamento de La Paz, Honduras
Departamento de Lempira, Honduras
Departamento de Copán, Honduras
Departamento de Ocotepeque, Honduras
Departamento de Santa Barbara, Honduras
Project duration
2021 - 2024

The project

The Honduran economy has experienced strong economic growth in recent years, but still faces challenges such as poor diversification, high inequality, and widespread poverty. Coffee remains Honduras’ top export product, but the export price has been decreasing. Honduras exports the highest volume at the lowest unit price when compared to other Central American countries. Sustainably produced coffee can be sold for a much higher price on the international market. However, sustainable coffee farmers have not benefited from a higher income of their sustainable produced coffee. Their coffee cooperatives or producer associations lack knowledge and connections to sell the sustainably produced coffee to interested purchasers. Consequently, they are selling sustainability compliant or certified coffee at conventional prices. 

The project seeks to address this disconnect by strengthening the trade promotion capacities of Honduran business support organisations so that they become able to provide services to export ready companies that are themselves committed to sustainable and responsible production. The ultimate goal of the project is to create resilient livelihoods for smallholder sustainable coffee farmers, stimulate economic growth and participation in global value chains, and contribute to a healthier environment.

As the first project to apply Swisscontact’s innovative Inclusive Trade Promotion methodology, this project will seek to influence two market systems simultaneously: the inclusive export promotion system (last mile) and the inclusive import promotion system (first mile) in the destination markets. This double approach allows for the strengthening or creation of inclusive global value chains, which generate value for both seller and buyer, promote economic growth and reduce wealth inequality in Honduras.

Direct partners of the project will be sixteen local business support organisations. These business support organisations provide capacity-building services to sustainable coffee cooperatives, producer associations and SMEs that allow them to identify their export capacity, design an export marketing plan, obtain market intelligence and find out about specific market access requirements. Once they are ready to access export markets, the organisations support them with go-to-market services, such as facilitating participation in trade shows and other matchmaking events, which will help them establish sustained relationships with potential buyers in Europe.

Lastly, the project will facilitate the creation of a multi-stakeholder Alliance for Inclusive and Competitive Trade Promotion to strengthen the currently weak and underdeveloped trade promotion environment in Honduras. Made up of champions from both the public and the private sector, this alliance is envisioned to create the framework conditions conducive to inclusive economic growth and resilience for Honduran sustainable coffee companies.


Project goals

Smallholder sustainable coffee farmers who are part of sustainable coffee companies (cooperatives, producer associations and SMEs) are able to successfully negotiate directly with sustainable importers, generating increased sales of sustainable coffee and in this manner make their livelihoods more resilient.

Expected results

  • 16 local business support organisations are capacitated to provide export promotion services to their clients from the sustainable coffee sector.
  • 26 sustainable coffee companies access the export promotion services provided by the business support organisations.
  • 1 850 smallholder sustainable farmers (30% women) increase their income and generate a higher price per unit for their sustainable coffee.
  • 30 importers and roasters per year participate in events and matchmaking activities to establish direct trade relationships with sustainable Honduran coffee companies.
  • At least 5 high-level government officials and 5 private sector representatives are active members of the Honduran Alliance for Inclusive and Competitive Trade Promotion.

Financing partners

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. 


Sustainable agriculture
Inclusivity and sustainability mark the difference in Honduran Specialty Coffee at the Coffee Expo held in Boston
Honduras’ delegation stood out for its integral representation of the coffee value chain – featuring producers, cooperatives, exporters, and roasting companies that are part of Swisscontact’s Inclusive Coffee project, alongside institutions in the coffee sector and Honduran brands that are franchised in the United States.
Sustainable agriculture
Café Inclusivo from Honduras at Coffee Expo 2022 in Boston
With newly acquired knowledge and tools to implement their commercial and export strategies, 18 cooperatives that produce sustainable coffee in Honduras and that are part of Swisscontact’s Inclusive Coffee project will participate in the Coffee Expo, as part of their efforts to generate resilient life means, through the construction of long-term commercial partnerships. 
Reducing knowledge and experience gaps of women in the coffee value chain
As we close the month of March, in which we celebrate the vital role of women in our society and our economy, we continue to act for gender equality. The Inclusive Coffee project in Honduras has developed a Train the Trainers program with partner AMUCAFE (Honduras Chapter of the International Women in Coffee Alliance) to reduce the existing knowledge and experience gaps of women working in the coffee value chain in Honduras with regard to the export promotion process of their coffee. 

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