Hivos International

Coffee

The Coffee Toolkit - Sustainable Coffee as a Family Business

The Coffee Toolkit (download the PDF file here) was developed by SCP, Agri-ProFocus, Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services, IDH and Hivos for the coffee industry, in response to the demand for knowledge on how to best integrate women and youth in the coffee value chain and provides practical approaches and tools for stakeholders and service providers.

Esta Guía tiene como propósito animar y apoyar a tostadores, comercializadores y personal técnico, en la aplicación de enfoques inclusivos que faciliten el mejoramiento de la cadena de valor del café, beneficiando por igual a hombres y mujeres de diferentes edades.

The Coffee Toolkit was developed by SCP, Agri-ProFocus, Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services, IDH and Hivos for the coffee industry, in response to the demand for knowledge on how to best integrate women and youth in the coffee value chain and provides practical approaches and tools for stakeholders and service providers.

The contents of the toolkit should serve to motivate and assist coffee roasters, traders and their practitioners to apply an inclusive approach to developing better functioning coffee chains, benefitting both men and women of different age groups equally.

Coffee Barometer 2014 explores the global and local dimensions of the coffee production system, by observing how the social, economic and ecological aspects are intertwined. On the one hand we have noticed that coffee producers are experiencing different climate change related impacts, on the other hand there are only few and fragmented adaptation and mitigation measures being implemented in the coffee sector to cope with this new reality.

Chic coffee shops are multiplying all over the world, but in many places coffee farmers are dwindling. In one area of Indonesia, the average age of a coffee farmer is sixty; in Colombia it is fifty. Growing coffee is hard work that can sometimes generate little income. Older people who have spent their lives in the fields persist, but their children are leaving to seek more gainful, modern and enjoyable employment. A new generation of coffee professionals is urgently needed.

Biodiversity is the cornerstone of our very existence. Also in agricultural systems, biodiversity plays an important role in providing important goods and services to farmers, for example in crop pollination and maintenance of soil fertility. In coffee cultivation systems, layers of shade trees used to be very common. Shade trees play a key role in providing timber and fruits, storing carbon, maintaining a favourable microclimate, and harbouring biodiversity. Nevertheless, coffee farmers across the tropics have often removed these shade trees, in search of higher coffee productivity.

International Institute for Environment and Developmen (IIED) and Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (Hivos) launched a two-year strategic partnership to provide research-based policy advice to improve sustainable food systems and access to energy in developing and emerging countries. 

In Guatemala we study a coffee project which earns carbon credits through its organic practices. Compared to conventional largescale coffee production, the organic practices of smallholder farmers in the north of Guatemala provide a number of environmental benefits by capturing and storing carbon dioxide in biomass and soils. Additionally, these practices save on conventional fertiliser use and increase energy efficiency on the farm. 

This report looks at the ongoing PASCAFENCamBio2 project (Sustainable Agriculture in Coffee Plantations in Nicaragua) to understand the potential of carbon-offset funding for smallholder agriculture in coffee-producing landscapes. Carbon emission reductions in the project are expected over the course of 20 years via the establishment and maintenance of aerial biomass (trees in the coffee agroforestry system), soil carbon biomass from composting, and avoided emissions from nitrogen reductions.