On October 1st, 75 Member States of the International Coffee Organization and dozens of coffee associations from around the world will announce the first International Coffee Day (ICD), which will be officially launched and celebrated during the Global Coffee Forum as part of Milan Coffee Week.
International Coffee Day is a worldwide celebration of coffee and the coffee sector’s diversity, quality and passion. This is a fantastic opportunity for coffee lovers to share their love for coffee and at the same time to help millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on this aromatic crop.
Anyone will be able to participate through social media and the dedicated website that was launched in August. As part of the celebrations, the ICO (International Coffee Organization) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Oxfam to collaborate on a wonderful fundraising campaign to raise money for coffee farmers across the world. Globally, we drink over 500 billion cups of coffee per year, yet many coffee farmers and their families (25 million families) are still living in poverty.
The charity campaign entitled “Coffee4Change” will offer the opportunity of showing solidarity to smallholder coffee farmers by donating the value of an additional cup of coffee to Oxfam’s work with these farmers via an online platform
The Coffee4Change initiative will launch on October 1st and be live in-store during the month of October and for an indefinite period online. The Official Launch Event of Coffee4Change will take place during the Global Coffee Forum at EXPO 2015, Milan, Italy.
The idea of “Coffee4Change” was born out of the old Neapolitan tradition of caffè sospeso (a “suspended” or “pending” coffee), that is still found in most coffee bars in Naples and around Italy today.
The tradition was dated back to the period just after WWII: Naples had been devastated by the war, much of the population lived in a state of abject poverty and only a few could treat themselves to that small – yet immense – daily pleasure of drinking a coffee. So, as an act of charity toward the less fortunate, those who could afford it would pay not only for their own coffee, but also for that of a stranger, anonymously leaving a coffee “suspended or pending” for anybody who had ordered one but could not afford to pay for it. The Neapolitan author Luciano De Crescenzo called it “a coffee offered to mankind”: an everyday act of charity during extremely hard times.
International Coffee Day will truly be a global event, involving associations and businesses all over the world where the initiative “Coffee4Change” will be communicated through participating Oxfam Affiliates the world over.
You are invited to join this great celebration as well, sharing the pleasure of coffee and solidarity with the world!