FES believes in the power of partnership to diagnose challenges, co-create successful approaches, deliver results, and realize goals.
International Women's Coffee Alliance (ICWA)
FES supports the IWCA mission to “empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry.” FES provides advisory services to IWCA in marketing, gender equity, and microfinance, which includes financial and business literacy training. Coffee is a major export commodity and is the top agricultural export for twelve countries, the world's seventh largest agricultural export by value and the second most valuable commodity exported by developing countries. Five hundred million (500,000,000) people rely on coffee for their livelihoods, one half of whom are women. Women work as producers, farm managers, cooperative managers, roasters, processors, coffee farm laborers, coffee researchers, extension workers, importers, and coffee shop owners. FES' support to women coffee producers is not only about protecting their livelihoods but also about supporting the benefits of specialty coffee. Most specialty coffee is grown under a canopy of assorted types of shade trees. The benefits of shade grown coffee are numerous: soil stabilization, increases soil water retention, provides wildlife habitat, attracts pollinators, sequesters carbon and much more.
Association For International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD)
FES is a proud corporate sponsor for the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development, an association of U.S.- and internationally-based members who have devoted their careers to global agricultural development and hunger alleviation. AIARD members are development professionals from universities, non-governmental organizations, private sector firms, consulting companies, government and donor agencies, and foundations. The association represents the extensive disciplinary base of agricultural and related social science skills necessary to carry out global agricultural development and hunger alleviation programs.
FES President, Russ Webster, currently serves as President of AIARD (June 2020 – May 2021).
The Postharvest Education Foundation (PEF)
Over 40% of nutrient-dense, perishable foods produced by farmers around the world is never consumed (Lipinski et al 2013); it is lost during harvest, postharvest handling, storage or transit from the farms to the markets. These postharvest losses are also nutrient, natural resource, labor, financial, and ultimately human productivity losses due to reduced access to nutrients and higher incidence of food-borne illness. To combat postharvest losses, protocols are required for field sanitation, use of clean water for washing, clean containers for packing, use of appropriate pesticides and sanitizing agents, temperature control for perishables, and labor following safe hygiene practices. If produce is spoiled by physical, chemical, or biological contaminants, it can lead to food-borne illnesses like listeria or salmonella, among others, which have devastating impacts on human productivity. Training, capacity building, and intensive informal education have been missing elements for local postharvest specialists and extension workers who are needed to train smallholder farmers, traders, processors, and marketers in their rural communities. Since 2011, our partner “Postharvest Education Foundation” (PEF) has led the charge of building a cadre of young postharvest professionals in developing countries who are able to respond to local needs by working with government, private sector, and international NGOs leading projects and programs in food loss assessment, reducing postharvest losses, protecting food safety, and supporting small agribusiness development. To date, PEF has trained hundreds of people in 34 countries and provided on-going mentoring, advised on training program development, created postharvest tool kits, sponsored international conferences and workshops, provided travel support, and presented the annual Kader Awards for Postharvest Training.
The logistic and cold chain development in Africa is paramount to reducing food loss and food borne illnesses from perishable foods. FES is committed to providing expertise, and therefore, is partnering with Bright House Consultancy and Training, Ltd., a Kenyan, woman-owned business that is uniquely situated in the nexus between East and West Africa. Bright House provides expertise in food safety, food security, supply chain, cold storage, 3PL, investment intel, certifications, training, etc. They have established global networks of experts in food safety, postharvest, nutrition, supply- and value- chains; and they possess a dynamic, web-based training platform to enable small and mid-size enterprises to quickly uptake food safety practices.
University of Rhode Island
The University of Rhode Island is a diverse and dynamic community whose members are connected by a common quest for knowledge. As a major research university defined by innovation and big thinking, URI offers its undergraduate, graduate, and professional students distinctive educational opportunities designed to meet the global challenges of today’s world and the rapidly evolving needs of tomorrow. FES is proud to partner with two departments at URI: The Coastal Resources Center (CRC) in the Graduate School of Oceanography and the Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Sciences which is part of the College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS). Together, FES and URI are conducting important research to benefit communities in Senegal and West Africa. Traditional fish smoking techniques produce large amounts of teratogenic and carcinogenic substances which cause birth defects and cancer, respectively. Our organizations are researching possible alternative technologies to reduce the levels of these dangerous substances while also producing culturally acceptable smoked fish products at affordable prices.