Climate Catalogue report released at SCA World of Coffee

During SCA World of Coffee Berlin, the Climate Catalogue report was released, paving the way for investments into climate resilient coffee production.

The report, Brewing Up Climate Resilience in the Coffee Sector: Adaptation Strategies for Farmers, Plantations and Processors, is a collaboration between the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), IDH – Sustainable Trade Initiative, Global Coffee Platform, initiative for coffee&climate and Conservation International.

In the report, these organisations 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.

“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”, said Niels Haak from Conservation International.

“Coffee farmers and the 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”, said 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”, said 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” said Niels Haak. “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 report also contains profiles of 15 coffee-growing areas, providing an overview on climate change impacts and possible solutions. For example, the country profile for Brazil highlights loss of suitable land for coffee production of 18% until 2050 and 27% by 2070. “Adaptation is highly site specific”, said 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.”

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