Coffee growers combat climate change

Climate change has had a devastating impact on coffee farmers in Peru with torrential rain and flooding destroying their crops. Cafedirect’s ground breaking reforestation project is helping to mitigate these problems and create an innovative sustainable financing solution.

This film tells the story behind a ground breaking project in Peru. Reforestation Sierra Piura, the innovative adaptation project in northern Peru, involves the CEPICAFE co-operative, representing 6,600 mountainside coffee farmers who supply Cafédirect with high quality Arabica beans.Extensive deforestation by the subsistence farmers of Choco living higher up the mountain left the CEPICAFE smallholders exposed to torrential rain and flooding. Without the protection of the trees, the rainwater was flooding across their farms on an almost daily basis, washing away valuable soil and even destroying their crops.Due to its direct relationships with farmers, Cafédirect saw first hand the devastating impact of climate change on the smallholder co-operative partners. So as a result, it facilitated and supported the communities to a) understand the changes in climate and the causes, b) work together to plan and develop ways to address the issues, and c) develop an innovative sustainable financing solution to enable them continue to adapt to climate change.Smallholders are responsible for producing 75% of the world’s coffee, equating to 25 million coffee-farming families living and working in developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia. But in recent years climate change has left them struggling to cope with a host of serious difficulties, including flooding, drought, pests and crop diseases.In a bid to stem the growing crisis Cafédirect is urging cross-industry action — involving all major manufacturers and retailers — to implement further ‘adaptation’ strategies worldwide that will help the worst affected farmers cope with and overcome the effects of climate change in their region.

As it did 20 years ago with Fairtrade, Cafédirect is aiming to lead by example in the drive to highlight the need for climate change adaptation strategies worldwide. Its Manifesto for Change calls for:

1. Climate change adaptation to be on the boardroom agenda of all major coffee suppliers/retailers
2. Sustainable financing of adaptation for smallholder farmers needs to be a priority
3. Other hot drinks companies need to recognize the responsibility they have for the supply chain
4. Smallholders themselves to be recognized and valued as part of the solution
5. Consumers need to understand the impact of their purchase

Author and copyright: Cafedirect

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