Coffee Innovation Fund

©GIZ/Silas Koch
©GIZ/Silas Koch

Supporting smallholders, fostering innovation

Coffee Innovation Fund 1.0

In its first round from 2019 to 2020 the Coffee Innovation Fund supported pioneering projects in the Ethiopian, Myanmar, Indonesian and Vietnamese coffee sectors. 

How can companies and cooperatives foster sustainability in the coffee sector? The Coffee Innovation Fund, financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), supports pioneering projects making coffee more profitable for farmers. The projects take various approaches to improve the production, processing or marketing of coffee beans and increase local value creation.


Coffee grown in bunk beds, blockchain-based transparency mechanisms, coffee paired with eco-tourism: 


21 projects from four countries made the race in the idea competition the fund organised. Since 2019 and continuing through 2020, they have been receiving financial support, advice and access to a broad network in the coffee sector.


The fund’s support enables start-ups and cooperatives to test new ideas and gain experiences. Other stakeholders, too, can profit from these outcomes – which were shared at exchange meetings and in toolkits displaying the different solutions implemented by the projects. Innovations from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam were thereby spread all over the coffee-producing world.


©GIZ/Silas Koch
©GIZ/Silas Koch

Coffee Innovation Fund 2.0

After a successful first round in which 21 projects were selected, the fund’s second round will create opportunities for investment in four East African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.


The application deadline for the second round of the Coffee Innovation Fund has ended December 31st, 2020 and applications are currently being screened. Implementation of selected projects is planned to start in May 2021. As in the previous round piloted innovations will be published and shared with the coffee sector during an event.


What you need to know about the Coffee Innovation Fund:

  • It promotes the design and implementation of innovative practices, systems and tools in the coffee sector,
  • is a cooperation between one or more private businesses and GIZ,
  • provides commercial benefits for private partners, while bringing developmental benefits for the coffee sector in the country,
  • is designed by both partners but implemented by the private partner with support from third-party service providers,
  • can contribute up to €50,000 worth of investment per project to cover cost of materials, technology and technical assistance,
  • is not a cash disbursement-based fund and
  • requires matching contributions from applicants (contributions can be monetary or in-kind).

GIZ partners with the selected companies to assist in the design and implementation of the projects. Proposals are selected according to criteria pertaining innovation, replicability, inclusivity and potential impact.


The Coffee Innovation Fund is implemented by the programme for sustainable agricultural supply chains and standards of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. GIZ partneres with the companies to assist in the design and implementation of the projects.