Aleneor, Youth Trainer
While focusing intently on the soccer game ahead, I was introduced to just the type of person I was hoping to meet while in Peru. Teodomiro (on the left), one of the cooperative's lead agronomists and trainers introduced me to Aleneor (right) who went through Cenfrocafe's Youth Trainers program.
The Youth Trainers program is now in it's third year, and one of the years Counter Culture supported the program with some funding through our SEEDS initiative. SEEDS allocates small funds to grower partners who solicit them for projects related to coffee quality and quality of life improvements for producers and their communities – specifically projects that relate to education and the environment. Cenfrocafe decided that, in order to both maintain youth involvement in coffee communities and reach more producers, they would focus on developing youth into trainers.
Aleneor was incredibly enthusiastic and eager to answer my questions about his three years in this role. He seemed to truly enjoy the range of his responsibilities and the amount he needed to know to do the job well. Maybe because Teodomiro was standing right there, he didn't hesitate to mention how well trained he was on everything from understanding how the business side of the co-op functions to pricing to agricultural practices. He spoke eloquently about how his relationships with producers have changed over time – including the importance of strategies to build their trust and to see how the suggestions made by trainers truly pay off in the long run. Trainers are currently working with producers on their documentation practices, so that producers can have a better sense of inputs and practices on their farms from year to year.
Cenfrocafe is now trying to identify ways to maintain youth involvement and reach out to new youth trainers. I tried to drop a hint that Aleneor might have some insight on that topic!