Supporting coffee farmers to react on climate change: initiative for coffee & climate launches new online toolbox

Free and easy to use, openly accessible from everywhere in the world and practically supporting farmers in their response to climate change. These are just some of the attributes of the new web-based coffee&climate toolbox. “The aim of the new toolbox is to enable coffee farmers worldwide to effectively respond to climate change”, says Michael Opitz, Director of the initiative for coffee&climate. “It is essential that all coffee farmers in the world have access to such important information”. It is the initiative’s goal to make innovative and scientifically proven practices available to the farmers. Through the toolbox they can learn which agricultural techniques work under specific climatic conditions.
The toolbox is a compilation of tools, climate maps, case studies, guidelines and training materials. It equips farmers and farming communities with valuable information about farming techniques and practices that are climate resilient. All provided tools are continuously tested and further developed by farmers together with some of the world´s leading scientists in the specific regions. Based on evaluations from farmers in the field, the provided materials of the toolbox are constantly updated and reviewed. Visitors are invited to use the toolbox as an interactive platform and to also share their own experiences on effective tools.
Climate change poses a substantial threat to global agriculture. “The coffee producing regions in the world are particularly vulnerable to this. The change implies decreasing land suitable for coffee production, severe droughts and extreme shifts in rainfall patterns”, explains Opitz. As a result of these events, climate change tends to lower crop yields and elevate costs of production that are threatening the livelihood of coffee growing families.
Visit the new coffee&climate toolbox:
Helping to equip every coffee farmer worldwide: the initiative for coffee&climate
Realizing their role and their responsibility attached to it, major coffee companies took leadership initiative and joined forces with the development and the research sector to address challenges posed by changing climate conditions. As climate change affects the entire coffee value chain they founded the “initiative for coffee&climate” in 2010. Its goal is to enable all coffee-farming families worldwide to effectively respond to climate change. In view of urgency of the subject coffee companies and other players from the sector are invited to join the initiative by becoming a member. Through participation they can make use of the approach and contribute by reaching out and sharing own experiences for effectively addressing climate change in coffee.
Pioneering activities have showcased that productivity, mitigation and adaptation can complement each other. For example the use of cover crops: By covering the soil between coffee rows farmers can reduce the rate of soil erosion and water loss. One of the participating farmers in Honduras, Denia Elizabeth Deras, states: “Through the approach of the initiative I do not only have a better understanding of the effects of climate change on coffee production, but also know how to face them. With the establishment of cover crops I can reduce soil temperature and keep more moisture”. The coffee&climate approach is currently implemented in projects in Brazil, Central America, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Current Members:
Löfbergs, Paulig, Tchibo, Joh. Johannson,
Franck, Neumann Gruppe, Lavazza Foundation,
Sida, GIZ, Tim Hortons, Starbucks

Implementing Partners:
Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung
Conservation International

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