August 22, 2019

Promoting sustainable production through Mercon’s LIFT Program


LIFT is a 3-year sustainable production program of Mercon Coffee Group, designed to provide on-site courses and training to small producers in the areas of productivity and the environment, with the objective of supporting our small and medium producers achieve increased productivity in an environmentally and socially conscious manner.

Maura Andrea Herrera, a coffee producer from Nicaragua, took over the management of the El Laurel coffee farm after her husband’s passing. Learning to manage the farm and increase its production where her main challenges. Three years after entering the LIFT program, Maura Andrea was able to double her production while implementing environmentally friendly practices.

The LIFT program is an initiative promoted by the Mercon Coffee Group which began in 2015 in Nicaragua. Following the success of the Nicaraguan producers, Mercon decided to expand the LIFT program to coffee communities in Honduras, Guatemala and Vietnam, through their respective operations in those countries.

Annually, new producers are integrated and to date there are a total of 1,490 participants. Maura Andrea is part of the first generation, who are on track to conclude their training this year.

The training provided by LIFT is based on increasing productivity by incorporating environmentally friendly practices and respect for human rights to ensure socially responsible coffee production. This is done through training and technical assistance through individual visits by a team of field technicians of Mercon Coffee Group.

“At Mercon, we are committed to our producer clients by offering a high-quality range of services to increase their productivity. The LIFT program is our response to the challenges faced by coffee producers”, explained Luis Alberto Chamorro, Director of Origins of the group.

LIFT is supported by roasters such as Paulig, Caffé Nero, illyCaffé and S & D Coffee, who sponsor producer clusters. The roasters also carry out audits of the program to measure the impact on coffee farms.

Anna Vänskä, Supply Manager of the Coffee Division of Paulig, states that they decided to invest in the LIFT program because they believe that this alliance has a positive impact on the quality of life of small coffee producers. “It is gratifying to support the producers and their communities in the areas where we obtain our coffee to ensure that it continues to be produced,” she mentions.

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