Sustainable cocoa and coffee

Coffee and Climate: climate-smart solutions for coffee farmers

March 21, 2024

Coffee is Peru's leading agricultural export and provides economic livelihoods for more than 225,000 producing families. The sector faces challenges such as poor access to information and technology, creating a knowledge gap for producers. Coffee organisations have little information to make business decisions, and costs are constantly changing. This, combined with the high risks of climate change, makes the use of technologies that take into account local information, as well as training in its understanding and use, an urgent priority.

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Cajamarca (Peru)

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400 coffee producers, members of UNICAFEC

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Towards the coffee of the future

Knowledge is power, even in the world of coffee. Coffee & Climate is a pilot initiative to raise awareness among coffee producers and technical staff of organisations about the relationship between coffee and carbon emissions/sequestration. Participants come from Cajamarca, Peru's main organic coffee exporting region. They will measure the environmental footprint of each stage of coffee production through a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). They will acquire tools to reduce coffee's footprint during cultivation, harvest and post-harvest stages.

Measuring the impact of agroforestry systems on coffee plots will be key to scaling up data from the region. We will do so based on the case of the coffee organisation Unicafec. We will use the Calcafé environmental impact calculator, in partnership with PromPerú/Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru (MINCETUR) as part of the government's Coffee Environmental Footprint Programme, and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú PUCP. We will scale up the evidence with members of the Cajamarca Coffee Multi-Stakeholder Platform.

The project consists of 5 interlinked phases:

  1. Participatory research for design and capacity building on LCA methodology
  2. Calculation of environmental impacts of emissions and carbon sequestration using LCA methodology.
  3. Definition of more efficient agroforestry systems and validation of models depending on the altitude of different production zones.
  4. Implementation plans for agroforestry systems on coffee farms and prototypes to improve environmental performance and clean production.
  5. Dissemination of the process and results at regional and national levels.
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  • Improvement of agroforestry models: Unicafec improved its agroforestry models implemented by 400 partners to improve C02 sequestration.
  • Low environmental impact solutions: Researchers and producers devised post-harvest solutions and prototypes for solid waste management.  
  • Multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder commitment: The Cajamarca Coffee Multi-stakeholder Platform commits to implement the carbon neutral coffee strategy to differentiate the product in international markets. This would be addressed with 10 organisations in the forthcoming More coffee, less CO2 project (link).
  • Tool for replication: A practical guide on carbon neutral coffee was published, proposing environmental solutions to implement cost-effective production models.
  • Validation of benefits of the Calcafé calculator of PromPerú/MINCETUR: Public programme instrument proved to be effective for decision making, to know and quantify carbon emission and sequestration under agroforestry systems, reducing costs and study times (from 16 to 5 months).

Who do we work with?

Cajamarca Coffee Multi-stakeholder platform
Province of Flemish Brabant


Napoleón Molina

Sustainable Cocoa and Coffee programme director in Latin America | Regional director

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