Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF)

Cafedirect Producers Foundation

Date Awarded
Grant Period
01/01/13 to 01/31/15
Focus Area
Media Innovation
Knight News Challenge

Project Links

Grantee Contact

  • London, UK

Featured Media

For a mobile platform enabling smallholder farmers to have questions translated and answered by others around the world

Smallholder farmers in developing countries have limited access to support and best practices. The Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation, which designs projects to support small-scale farmers, will use mobile to address this need by building a platform allowing farmers to ask questions and share knowledge about any farming topic, have it translated by volunteers, answered by farmers in other communities and returned to them via basic SMS messages. Knight funds will enable the project, called WeFarm, to expand on successful pilots in Kenya, Peru and Tanzania, where farmers exchanged more than 4,600 SMS messages, an average of more than 70 per user, on topics such as frost control and animal husbandry.

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Project Team



program manager


Ewan is the foundation’s program manager, which includes managing this project. He obtained a degree in architecture in his native Scotland, before moving to Peru to work with ProWorld Service Corps, an international development NGO, as regional director for Latin America, working with isolated, indigenous communities across the region, and supporting local people to design and implement sustainable and practical development projects. These ranged from constructing schools and fish farms to facilitating enterprise development and training for grassroots youth and women’s groups. Ewan returned to the UK in 2009 to take up his role as program manager as part of the CPF start-up team.

Claire Rhodes is the foundation’s general manager. She joined in 2009, attracted by the foundation’s goal to be an organization led by smallholder farmers for smallholder farmers.  Previously, Rhodes worked with a number of international organizations to promote the leadership of smallholder farmers and grassroots communities within rural development processes.  This has included seven years with the US-based nonprofit Ecoagriculture Partners, coordinating a program to enable smallholder farming communities across the world to share knowledge with each other, as well as consultancies with the United Nations Development Program, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and UK Department for International Development. Rhodes holds a Masters in Environmental Technology (2001).


Murphy is the foundation’s fundraising coordinator. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a master’s in Spanish and Business Studies before moving into international development fundraising. She has worked for African street children’s charity Retrak and humanitarian agency CARE International UK before joining CPF in 2011. When she isn’t writing funding proposals, she volunteers with Crossworld, a charity for refugees in South London and is trying to get to grips with Swahili noun classes.

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