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Special event at Woc 2019 to focus climate resilience in the coffee sector

BERLIN, Germany – During SCA World of Coffee Berlin Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), IDH – Sustainable Trade Initiative, Global Coffee Platform, initiative for coffee&climate and Conservation International will release the report “Brewing Up Climate Resilience in the Coffee Sector: Adaptation Strategies for Farmers, Plantations and Processors”.

Through this report, these organization collectively aim to raise awareness and show coffee industry partners opportunities for investments to support farmers and communities in the transition to more climate resilient production systems.

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The report will be released together with 15 country profiles providing an overview on climate change impacts and possible solutions during Europe’s biggest specialty coffee exhibition.

The event takes place, Friday, June 7th 2019 at 10:00 am in Lecture Room 1: Climate Hazards and Coffee Investments: What Does a Resilient Sector Look Like? “For the first time, such documents are not only giving a clear understanding of the most pressing challenges but also highlight where there is room for investments to ensure the future of coffee production”, says Niels Haak from Conservation International who will be moderating the lecture.

“Coffee Farmers and Coffee Industry are equally challenged by the threats of climate change to the future suitability of coffee growing regions. Major shifts or entire loss are predicted”, adds Caroline Glowka from Global Coffee Platform. “Climate change is amplifying the challenges already facing the industry.”

As a crop with highly specific temperatures and rainfall patterns critical to sustaining production, coffee is feeling the heat. “Climate change is more than just brewing, it’s beginning to reach a rolling boil”, warns Tessa Meulensteen from IDH – Sustainable Trade Initiative. “That’s why we find it so important to make clear which investments are the most impactful, to ensure a future for the sector.”

The report highlights five critical climate issues namely: loss of suitable areas for coffee production and shifts to higher altitudes, increased water stress; outbreak of pest and diseases; Poor flowering and cherry development; growing vulnerability of smallholder coffee farmers and especially women.

“Despite the fact that climate change is a complex issue, the good news is that we know which techniques and practices need to be put in place to create a resilient and sustainable coffee sector” says Niels Haak from Conservation International.

“We need to keep pushing these efforts to global scale – this can only be done through increased investments and close collaboration across the sector.” One of the six strategies to increase climate resilience that is highlighted in the catalogue is to boost investments in climate-smart practice on coffee farms and at mills.

Max Ochoa from the initiative for coffee&climate knows from daily field work, that climate change adaptation pays off, even on small scale farm level: “Integrating Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices into farmer curricula should become mainstream. We have seen that these result in more competitive and modern farm management as well as increased resilience to climate shocks.”

The country analysis’s enable the coffee industry to get a quick snap-shot of the expected climate change impacts in 15 coffee producing countries. For example, the country profile for Brazil highlights loss of suitable land for coffee production of 18 percent until 2050 and even 27 percent by 2070. “Adaptation is highly site specific”, elaborates Kim Elena Ionescu from the Specialty Coffee Association. “This catalogue offers a unique opportunity to the industry to invest in targeted activities that will ensure our future supply of coffee.”

The catalogue and country profiles are free and after release available for download only: Brewing up Climate Resilience in the Coffee Sector

More details about the release lecture on the World of Coffee Webpage:

Climate Hazards and Coffee Investments: What Does a Resilient Sector Look Like?

Friday, June 7th 2019 10 am Lecture Room 1 at World of Coffee Berlin (World of Coffee Ticket is needed for participation)

Panelists to Present: Tessa Meulensteen (IDH – Sustainable Trade Initiative), Kim Elena Ionescu (SCA), Max Ochoa (initiative for coffee&climate), Caroline Glowka (Global Coffee Platform), Niels Haak (Conservation International)

Session Coordinator/Moderator: Niels Haak (Conservation International)