SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – Against the backdrop of growing global demand for coffee, a new consortium of research institutions, conservationists and coffee experts is launching to operationalize best practices in adapting to the effects of climate change within the coffee sector.
In the course of the International Coffee Week of SINTERCAFE, held November 7-11, the U.S. Agency for International Development through Feed the Future, the U.S.
Government’s global hunger and food security initiative and the Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) proudly announced this new cooperation, marking a milestone on the path towards a more sustainable coffee sector.
With participation from the Initiative for Coffee & Climate (c&c), World Coffee Research (WCR), Conservation International (CI), Root Capital (Root), the Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Sustainable Food Lab (SFL), the consortium will strive to create a shared definition of climate change adaptation coffee farming practices and to offer the private sector practical pathways to adopt ‘climate smart’ approaches.
By putting up a united front in the coffee sector’s response to climate change, this consortium will leverage the substantial experience that exists within the sector to help to protect smallholder farmers’ livelihoods throughout the developing world.
The project will involve both the compiling and publication of the best ‘tools’ within the sector as well as implementing pilots of these practices in partnership with the private sector in Guatemala, Honduras and Uganda.
“We want to make it as easy and effective as possible for the private sector to invest in proven climate change adaptations.
There is already significant data available reflecting both the urgent need to change farming practices globally and the cost benefits of doing so quickly.
Our goal is to align existing experience and streamline private sector investment in ‘climate smart’ practices,” states Jan von Enden, HRNS North America. Kevin Fath, an Agriculture Development Specialist with USAID explains, “The millions of smallholder farmers who serve as the backbone of the coffee sector are increasingly threatened by changing climatic conditions.
We believe we can improve livelihoods in coffee growing communities by bringing together these expert organizations with a specific focus on coordinating science and developing tools the private sector can use to drive investment in climate smart coffee production.”
At the project launch event held November 11, private sector stakeholders participated in a panel discussion on climate change adaptation, where they highlighted the relevance of the project’s objectives to the sector.
“We at Starbucks see this initiative very positively…because sustainability is fundamental, for us as a company and for the coffee sector as well,” said Carlos Mario Rodriguez, Director of Global Agronomy for Starbucks.
“I especially like to see the number of organizations that this project is bringing together, because it is important to review what is already being done to address climate change and how we as a coffee sector can align ourselves to avoid duplicating efforts.
The resources are limited, but on the other hand there are many different groups working to find solutions to the climate change problem. So one of the most critical elements will be to integrate all these different efforts and to reach consensus in order to be more effective and use our limited resources very efficiently.”
Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS), a non-profit foundation, was established by Michael R. Neumann and his family as an independent organization in 2005.
The foundation has been directly implementing farmer support projects since 1991, initially through its daughter company, E.D.E. Consulting, a 100% subsidiary of the foundation.
HRNS benefits from an ample international network of partners from the private and public sector. Having 39 ongoing projects in 13 different countries, HRNS currently reaches more than 80,600 farming households directly (accumulated: around 177,000 direct beneficiaries since 2001).
Read more at www.hrnstiftung.org.
Feed the Future is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.
With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth and trade that increase incomes and reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition.
For more information, visit www.feedthefuture.gov.