29 September 2022

How do working equines contribute to your morning coffee?

Brooke Latin America and Caribbean's Ariel Morales marks International Coffee Day by exploring how coffee makes it from the saddle to your mug. 

According to Statista, the total coffee consumption worldwide last year was 166.63 million 60kg bags of coffee.

Coffee is certainly one of the top commodities and most consumed beverages around the world.

The coffee industry is an interesting chain that starts to bear fruit after 3-5 years. It starts with a cherry blossom, and then comes harvesting, processing and drying the cherries so they can be milled, packed and exported.

Have you ever heard that without bees, all life on Earth would cease to exist?

Well, without working equines, we would all be low energy, hysterical, shaky and depressed – as we would not be able to have coffee on our shelves.

Yes! Equines are an intrinsic part of the coffee production chain. They are the ones that help producers carry the many sacks per day for long trails before reaching the stockpile where commerce begins.

Then, trucks loaded with tons of sacks drive for many kilometres to export the special magic beans to other parts of the world.

International organisations like Heifer work to alleviate hunger and poverty through agricultural projects to guarantee food security and increase livelihoods. Brooke Latin America and the Caribbean (BLAC) has teamed up with them to work together on the Beyond Coffee II Project, which will be a great opportunity to establish animal welfare practices in the coffee production system and provide visibility for the vital role that working equines play in the sector.

The two organisations have also agreed to develop research on the economic and social contribution of working equines in the coffee value chain in Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua. As well as market research on perceptions of coffee consumers on the inclusion of good equine welfare practices.

As BLAC recognises the contributions of equines within our regional context and the fact they are considered a backbone of the economy in many developing countries, supporting countless communities, we strongly believe this will maximise the image of working equines and a new audience will now be able to see them under a different perspective.