Mercon Coffee and Conservation Int’l partner to combat the climate crisis
Global green coffee supplier, Mercon Coffee Group, announced that it is collaborating with Conservation International, a nonprofit working to find nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, to test ways to integrate natural climate solutions into coffee production.
Furthermore, research will be conducted to understand how specific activities reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining optimal productivity levels.
Mercon’s in-house LIFT program is a sustainable production program that provides valuable tools, training, and services to coffee farmers and coffee communities. Through LIFT, Mercon works directly with thousands of small coffee producers to raise their quality of life by helping them improve productivity in a social and environmentally conscious manner. LIFT promotes good agricultural, environmental, and social practices among coffee farmers.
The project will first assess LIFT and then recommend ways to improve the program’s forest conservation and reforestation activities, as well as its efforts to optimise the use of fertilizers — while reducing greenhouse gas emissions on farms. This partnership will enable Mercon to estimate the carbon storage and greenhouse gas emissions on LIFT coffee farms in its origin operations in Central America. Recommendations will be provided regarding economic incentive mechanisms for coffee farmers, which would encourage additional on-farm carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reduction.
“At Mercon, we are committed to positively impacting coffee producing communities to create a circle of prosperity in the coffee industry,” said Oscar Sevilla, CEO of Amsterdam-based Mercon. “We are fully committed to engaging with the right partners to help find innovative solutions and invest in research and technology that will help us find ways to solve the sustainability challenges ahead.”
Dr M Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, added, “Investing in nature can help deliver a third of the emissions reductions we need to make by 2030. It’s one of the most important things we can do after ending our use of fossil fuels. Agriculture has a key role to play in these efforts, especially when it comes to crops as vital to the global economy as coffee. By seizing on coffee’s potential as a critical climate solution, we can help to slow the pace of global warming even as we create sustainable and resilient livelihoods around the world.”
There are many other benefits to farmers who implement more sustainable practices, not the least of which is ensuring that these farms remain in operation for years to come. Coffee is a vulnerable crop, and as climate change threatens its viability, coffee farmers are facing significant threats to their livelihoods. By working directly alongside farmers in a mutually beneficial effort to increase sustainability practices and production across all origins, Mercon also hopes to highlight that it is possible to make coffee part of the solution to the global climate crisis.
For the implementation of this project, Mercon is receiving the support from IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, the largest development financial institution in Latin America and the Caribbean. The financing package includes co-financing and advisory services to promote raising the living standards of coffee communities in the region and promoting a positive environmental and social impact.
“At IDB Invest we are committed to supporting the adoption of impactful climate action through climate financing and advisory services, while promoting inclusive business models. Thus, we are excited to support Mercon to lead the adoption of climate solutions and pave the road for a sustainable and carbon neutral coffee sector, whilst improving the livelihoods smallholder coffee growers,” said Gema Sacristán, chief investment officer of IDB Invest.
To contribute transforming the coffee sector, Mercon will share approaches and lessons learned through this project through the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, as well as other industry networks. This highlights the importance of working together to achieve a common good and will ensure that will positively affect coffee communities and the industry at large.
For more information: merconcoffeegroup.com.