In the Hilo system, we can make change happen
We connect small scale farmers directly
to coffee lovers, while striving for a more
social and ecological coffee industry.
In order to solve ecological problems,
we have to tackle economic
and social problems.
Why is this change necessary?
The conventional coffee trade creates a vicious circle that results in exploitation, deforestation, and soil degradation. This culminates in negative influence on our changing climate.
The Hilo system explained
Promoting a systemic change is not a simple task: there is no magical solution. Here are the steps we’re taking to make it possible.
Monthly basic income
The first step is to provide a monthly basic income set according to a cooperation agreement that considers costs of production and living costs. This is how we escape the vicious cycle of exploitation in global markets, and create economic security for everyone involved.
For the farmers team
Our cooperation agreement connects the monthly income to the quantity of coffee sold via the Hilo system. The Giraldo family is the first of hopefully many, and has been receiving this income since June 2019.
For the social work team
The cooperation agreement connects their monthly income to the needs of the project ‘Jardín Municipio Lector’. Thanks to this, the two social workers have been able to dedicate fully to the project, and also expand it.
For the office team
So far the Hilo team has been working voluntarily. Once our system reaches stability, our collaborators will be compensated according to their needs and contribution.
Simply ‘more money’ does not solve the problem. That’s why the second step is to generate trust within the local community, and with our network. We achieve this via education projects, dedicated social workers, and full transparency in all our processes.
Trust within the community
Marta and Patricia, the two social workers who manage ‘Jardín Municipio Lector’, have been working with this community for over 15 years. This project helps to weave a strong social fabric through the education of future generations.
Trust in our network
As we like to say, trust is built through long-term relationships and transparency. That means with everyone involved: our team, our partners, and our consumers.
Trust in our coffee
A high quality end product is one of our basic premises. From the planting the seedlings, to hand-picking the best coffee cherries, processing, and roasting, our team and our partners guarantee that.
The third step is a result of the other two. We need collaborative and local solutions to support the development of climate-smart agriculture and other actions towards sustainability. We believe that a strong and trustful community with economic security is much more likely to embrace this in the long term.
We are developing research concepts in partnership with consultants and institutions in Colombia and in Germany. The goal is to accompany the changes and measure the impact of our actions.
Our system is based on the idea of a Transcontinental Community Supported Agriculture. This way our community of coffee drinkers in Germany can have direct impact against climate change.
We work as a non-profit, so all income from coffee sales is reinvested in the initiative and in the transition towards more sustainable practices.