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Ground Up: The LWR Coffee & Cocoa Initiative

Why Coffee & Cocoa?

Despite strong global demand for coffee and cocoa, producers often struggle to provide for their families, capturing just a fraction of their crops’ full market value. LWR believes that satisfying global demand for coffee and cocoa and improving the incomes and food security of the producers who grow them can, and should, go hand in hand.

LWR works with smallholder coffee and cocoa producers in Latin America, Asia and Africa to:

  • Create linkages along value chains that benefit producers
  • Contribute to environmental sustainability, and
  • Create profits for socially responsible businesses

It’s a triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Profit — to help improve producers’ lives, from the ground up.

  • Ground Up: The LWR Coffee & Cocoa Initiative

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What We Do

With expertise developed over decades, LWR brings a unique perspective and skill set to support sustainable coffee and cocoa production.

To address producers’ needs, LWR works with cooperatives and producer organizations to:

  • Provide training and access to inputs
  • Support improved post-harvest processing and facilitate organic, Fair Trade and other certifications for improved market access
  • Convene actors from across the value chain, creating opportunities for dialogue and mutual learning

LWR’s expertise extends to the consumer side of the equation as well. In the United States, LWR:

  • Markets Fair Trade coffee and chocolate to LWR’s U.S. supporters, empowering them to make conscious consumer choices
  • Holds an equity stake in Divine Chocolate USA, the world’s first producer-owned chocolate brand
  • Collaborates with strategic partners who recognize the excellence of LWR’s work


LWR’s Approach

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What works in addressing risk & fragility of coffee and cocoa farmers

LWR improves producer livelihoods by optimizing opportunities presented in the coffee and cocoa markets. LWR supports producers to increase coffee and cocoa production, improve quality, and gain greater market access and bargaining power with buyers, and ultimately increase their profits. LWR works with cooperatives and producers’ groups to expand their scale and improve their financial and management capacity, and collective investment in infrastructure, such as post-harvest processing technology. LWR promotes engagement with international markets by supporting smallholder farmers to secure third party certifications from Fair Trade USA, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified, Fairtrade International(FLO) and others. Strategic alliances with key industry players also provide technical expertise and assistance in production and processing, sample analysis and interactive feedback, which benefit producers’ sales and incomes.