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Olam Leads $200K COVID-19 Support Effort for Indonesian Coffee Farmers

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Olam press photo.

Several major global coffee trading and roasting companies have banded together to donate more than $200,000 in protective equipment and food staples to small-scale coffee farmers in Indonesia in response to COVID-19.

Led by Olam International, the combined donation comes from Italy’s Lavazza, Canada’s Mother Parkers Coffee & Tea and Switzerland’s Nespresso.

The donation involves an education campaign along with the distribution of face masks, hand sanitizer and pantry items such as rice, noodles, sugar and cooking oil. The effort is designed to benefit more than 10,000 smallholder coffee farmers in the main coffee-growing regions of Sumatra and Java, according to Olam.

“Our heartfelt thanks go out to Lavazza, Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee and Nespresso for their overwhelming support,” Vivek Verma, managing director and CEO of Olam Coffee, said in announcement from Olam. “Coffee farmers all over the world have already taken a hit from low prices and the pandemic now poses an urgent existential risk for them. Together with our customers, the priority is to work hand in hand to help keep farmers safe and help them endure this difficult period.”

The United States is by far the largest importer of Indonesian coffee, which is grown primarily by smallholder farmers whose lands account for some 98 percent of the country’s total coffee crop land, according to the USDA’s Global Agriculture Information Network.

Indonesia currently has the highest COVID-19 death toll in Southeast Asia at 6,207. The government reported 57 new deaths and 1,821 new infections today, bringing the country’s case total to 141,370.

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