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Smallholder Coffee Farmers Need Adequate Structures, Enough Time, and Financial Resources to Comply with EUDR

Smallholder coffee farmers are at risk of being excluded from the European Union (EU) market due to the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), according to a letter from the International Coffee Partners (ICP). The letter, signed by Delta Cafés of Portugal, Franck of Croatia, Joh. Johannson of Norway, Lavazza of Italy, Löfbergs of Sweden, Neumann Kaffee Gruppe of Germany, and Tchibo of Germany, highlights the challenges faced by smallholder farmers in complying with the EUDR.

The EUDR aims to protect forests in coffee-growing regions and has the support of the ICP. However, the letter emphasizes the need to consider the situation of smallholder farmers, who may struggle to provide the required detailed geodata by the end of 2024. This could result in their exclusion from the EU market, not because they grow coffee on deforested land, but because they lack the necessary data.

The letter also raises concerns about the potential negative impact of the EUDR on smallholder farmers’ incomes and market shares. It suggests that farmers may shift their sales to countries outside the EU, which could counteract the goal of reducing deforestation. The readiness assessment in Uganda, one of ICP’s project regions, revealed that the country’s coffee producers are not yet prepared to comply with the EUDR due to difficulties in tracking the origin of coffee beans.

To address these challenges, the ICP calls on the EU to extend the date of entry into force of the EUDR and integrate a transition phase. It also emphasizes the need for the creation of data provision structures and financial resources to support smallholder coffee farming families in building technical capacity and knowledge. This, according to the ICP, is crucial for ensuring a smooth transition to more sustainable supply chains and curbing deforestation without adverse effects.

Read More @ International Coffee Partners

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