This week (April 16th – 22nd) is UK Coffee Week, a national celebration of the coffee industry which helps to raise funds for the communities that grow the coffee we all love. While it may seem to many of us that every week is coffee week, this is our chance to give something back and really make a positive difference. All donations received go to Project Waterfall, who are a charity dedicated to helping coffee growing communities access clean, safe water.
With so many great charities out there, why have UK Coffee Week chosen Project Waterfall? Well for a start, without water we wouldn’t have coffee! In fact, it takes 140 litres of water to produce a single cup of coffee. Due to the conditions needed to grow coffee plants, the farming communities tend to live in very remote areas of the world where safe drinking water is not quite as simple as just turning on a tap. Being able to access clean water can break the cycle of poverty, providing a better life for the people we rely on to produce the coffee that we love so much.
Aside from the obvious benefit of better sanitation, and ultimately a reduction in disease, better water supply also improves education and income. Many coffee growing communities are some distance from the closest water source, sometimes up to 15km away. The burden of collecting the water usually falls on women and young girls, often forcing them to spend up to 8 hours of their day fetching water instead of being able to attend school. The average weight of the water carried back is 20 kilos, carrying this back every day can also cause serious health issues, such as spinal deformities and chronic fatigue. Accessing clean water gives them the chance to receive a proper education and help to provide their family with a better quality of life.
What’s going on
Coffee shops, pubs and schools all over the country are supporting UK Coffee Week in a variety of different ways. Some have pledged to donate 5p from every coffee sold this week, others have games and prize draws in store, and some have even arranged fundraising events like cocktail nights and latte art classes. There’s a great interactive map on the website which will help you find a participating store near you, which you can find here.
What can you do?
While it may be a bit late to set up a fundraising event, it’s not to late to show your support. The best way to help is just to find your local participating coffee shop and see what they have going on in store. If you’d like to get involved next year it’s never too early to start planning, so get thinking about fun ways you could raise some funds for Coffee Week 2019, or have a look here for inspiration.
Image credits to UK Coffee week Website.