A guide to better tomorrow’s brew through regenerative coffee farming
- Impact Area
Climate change means we must change how we grow coffee
For centuries, coffee has grown nestled amongst other trees – in the understory of biodiverse tropical forests in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These agroforestry systems support biodiversity and ecosystem services that store carbon, regulate pests and diseases, maintain soil health and cycle water and nutrients. But with ever-increasing demand for coffee, global production has prioritized high yields (Productivity is higher – up to 3 MT GC in Vietnam and up to 4 MT GC in Brazil). This has come at a cost: intensive farming has relied on external inputs (fertilizers, pesticides) and loss of shade trees with soil erosion, biodiversity loss and high emissions as side effects. In less intensive production areas, smallholder coffee farmers are unable to keep up with high production costs and fluctuating market prices; an estimated 44% of smallholder coffee farmers live at or below the poverty line, according to the Enveritas Coffee Smallholder Sustainability Report 2022.