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Sustainable living Incomes

Supporting Sustainable Living Incomes for coffee growing communities is vital to ensure the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the entire coffee sector.

Over the last 40 years, coffee prices paid to farmers have remained at roughly the same level, while the cost of living for a farming household has almost tripled.  


The current and long-term sustainability of coffee-growing communities depends on farmers receiving a Sustainable Living Income, regardless of the fluctuating price of coffee. A critical element of our vision for the future of the industry is ensuring coffee farmers will be supported to meet their living income through coffee, or the sector will support income diversification and a just transition to a viable livelihood. 


A deeper understanding of a living income and the costs of production in different contexts can help improve farmer livelihood in an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable way. 

The use of Living Income benchmarks and productivity tools provide a valuable resource for meeting the needs of today's sustainable agricultural production. The resulting analysis and recommendations benefit both farmers- who gain insight into income optimization, and the coffee industry- who gain a valuable resource in understanding how to optimize production and supply chain efficiency.



A Living Income is defined as “the net annual income required for a household in a particular place to afford a decent standard of living for all members of that household.” Thus, “Elements of a decent standard of living include: food, water, housing, education, healthcare, transport, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.” 

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