Climate change and coffee farming: losses and solutions

The need for change in coffee production is urgent. The demand for coffee is growing at an annual rate of 1,4% but supply is in danger. On top of the already existing issues in the sector, like aging farmers and plantations and a lack of knowledge to improve yields, climate change will exacerbate supply shortcomings.

Coffee producers are suffering from the impact of climate change putting them in a situation where they are likely to deforest, resulting in even higher greenhouse gas emissions.The consequence: Supply will not keep up with demand and the prices will increase, while the quality of our beloved cup will decrease

Climate Smart Agriculture

We can produce more and better coffee with climate smart agriculture (CSA). Climate-smart agriculture seeks to increase sustainable productivity, strengthen farmers’ resilience, reduce agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration. It strengthens food security and delivers environmental benefits. CSA includes proven practical techniques — such as improved waste-water and soil management  — and innovative practices such as better weather forecasting, more resilient food crops and risk insurance.

Nico Roozen, executive director Solidaridad Network: “We want to help the coffee sector shift from being part of the problem to part of the solution to deforestation and climate change. To achieve this we need an increase of revenue streams to finance the transition from business-as-usual to climate-smart agriculture.”

Collaboration in coffee sector precondition

Solidaridad has launched CSA activities in Colombia, Mexico and Peru and is now seeking to upscale collaboration with the coffee sector at international, national and local levels.

Coffee barometer 2014

Thursday 3 July the Sustainable Coffee Conference ‘The heat is on!’ will take place in Amsterdam.During this one-day conference, the Coffee Barometer 2014 will be presented, a joint publication of Solidaridad, Hivos, Oxfam-Novib, IUCN NL and WWF. Solidaridad will organize a workshop on the solution: Climate Smart Agriculture.