By June 2023, we will be investing in 5 Change Leader partners from 5 coffee-growing regions so that they can design and execute sustainable development projects in their own communities according to their own visions for change. The Chain Collaborative defines Change Leaders as people or groups of people who make up the leadership of a community-based organization or social enterprise and have a vision to create, implement, and sustain change to improve their local community. We will accomplish this by fostering partnerships to raise a $150,000 USD seed fund to finance Change Leader partners’ projects.
In partnership with: The Chain Collaborative is making this commitment to the Sustainable Coffee Challenge independently. However, in order to reach our commitment, we partner with foundations and companies who provide funding for our Change Leader partners’ work. Some of our ongoing partners include: Caravan Coffee Roasters, Cotopaxi, The Mortenson Family Foundation, Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, and Blooming Prairie Foundation, among others. In order to reach our 2022-2025 targets, we will continue to pursue additional partners in alignment with our mission.
In 2022, we launched the Community-Led Development [CLD] Incubator program to build relationships with local leaders in coffee-growing regions, cultivate their project design and management skills, and foster the development of their farming enterprises. Through this program, The Chain Collaborative partners with people or groups of people who make up the leadership of a community-based organization or social enterprise and have a vision to create, implement, and sustain change to improve their local community. After being accepted into a cohort of the Community-Led Development Incubator, participants complete three program phases over the course of 18 months. The first phase is the Learning and Design Phase; the second, the Implementation Phase; and the third, the Peer Support Phase. These three phases allow participants to design a community-led development project, implement it with TCC funding and robust support, and report on its impact. This work allows global communities to combat intergenerational poverty and marginalization in the coffee sector on their own terms, and according to their own visions for change. This year, we surpassed our goals for new partnerships, forming alliances with six new organizations as part of the Latin American CLD Incubator cohort, and maintaining two ongoing relationships, one in Uganda and one in Ecuador. We have fostered partnerships to raise $140,000 USD to finance these local leaders’ projects. The projects designed by these local leaders and their community organizations are focused on the following areas: Transformative Infrastructure, Education, Food Sovereignty, Alternative Income, Carbon & Climate and Gender Equity. Looking ahead to 2023, we will be continuing these relationships and welcoming new partnerships as part of an East African cohort of the CLD Incubator.