An incredible 75% of the world’s coffee is grown by smallholder farmers with tiny plots of land, and at Cafédirect we are seeing first hand that these farmers is at risk from the effects of climate change, their livelihoods and the quality coffee supply is increasingly under threat. This is why we are working directly with smallholder growers to help them to overcome the challenges faced by climate change. Our latest ground-breaking initiative, ‘Reforestation Sierra Piura’, aims to do just this.
We had to find a solution that would help and enable the producers to tackle climate change themselves, and make a lasting difference. As you can read in our special report, it wasn’t an easy task. But we think the results speak for themselves.
As one of the four pilot groups of the AdapCC project, the cooperative of CEPICAFE began investigating linking adaptation among its coffee farmers in the Sierra Piura to the voluntary carbon market. Just adding more shade trees to the coffee farms at 1,200m wouldn’t capture enough carbon to be viable, so a mutually beneficial agreement for a reforestation project had to be struck with the higher altitude communities near the town of Choco.
By reforesting the degraded grasslands higher up at 3,200m, the project enables the local people, who live almost completely off subsistence agriculture, to receive a rare source of income by managing the tree nurseries and planting the seedlings. They also own the trees, which are growing on communal land, and will eventually be able to sell sustainably harvested wood.
Once the planted trees have been certified to the CarbonFix standard, the carbon credits will be sold and 10% of the income will go to CEPICAFE, a unique example of using mitigation (or capturing carbon) to fund adaptation (or adjusting to the effects of the climate). As the coffee farmers and the Choco villagers share the same watershed, the reforestation benefits both areas by preventing erosion and strengthening the river eco-system that connects them.
The carbon credits from the newly planted forests will ideally be sold to buyers within the same coffee supply chain. Cafédirect, for example, is pre-paying funds to purchase credits, which helps the project get off the ground. We’re also encouraging our partners along the supply chain to purchase credits from this project, allowing them to take responsibility for their emissions by supporting those within the same supply chain that are struggling to cope with climate change. The result will be a more sustainable supply chain for all supported by an elegant, closed-loop carbon trading system.
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