While the international markets continue to demand high-quality coffee, Colombia is the third-largest coffee-producing country after Brasil and Vietnam and second when it comes to global arabica production.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano
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As noted by The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 54.5% of Colombia is forested, and out of this, 14.1% corresponds to primary forest, which is the most biodiverse and carbon-intensive type of forest.
The Coffee, Forest & Climate Agreement parts from the importance of private-public alliances as a means to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth. It is also lined up with the New York Declaration on Forests, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The Agreement is encased by deforestation free-supply chain agreements such as The Tropical Forest Alliance. As mentioned by the Agreement, over half a million producers and almost 10% of all global production will be impacted as a result of the private-public collaboration.
Since coffee represents the main source of income for several families in Colombia, adaptation, and mitigation of climate change are some of the most important challenges for coffee production during the coming decades. This is why the main actors of the coffee-producing sector have signed The Coffee, Forest & Climate Agreement, which is grounded on three main pillars. The first one is to focus on climate adaptation through the implementation of climate-smart and agroforestry production models. These intend to increase productivity and improve the resilience of the coffee-growing community while decreasing supply volatility.
The second pillar deals with the conservation and restoration of forests and protecting areas near coffee regions. The third pillar emphasizes Colombia’s commitment to mitigate Climate Change. This pillar will encourage those who sign the agreement, to reduce greenhouse emissions and to improve trade and ecosystem services that have been provided by coffee growers.
These are some of the most important commitments that the civil society, the public sector, and the private sector will assume after signing the Agreement: 1. Tree planting in coffee production systems, 2. The provision of environmental services and, 3. Promoting the structuring of financial mechanisms for the implementation of climate change strategies. The agreement has also been signed by global coffee companies such as Nespresso and international organizations across civil society such as TFA and Solidaridad.
Countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, and Norway have also endorsed the agreement to track their efforts when it comes to reducing national emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change. It is worth mentioning that Solidaridad is the Technical Secretariat for The Coffee, Forest & Climate Agreement and it also facilitates conversations among organizations that wish to participate and to implement projects that promote tree planting as well as forest management. The Agreement remains open for new members, companies, and organizations that are related to the coffee supply chain.
In a recent interview, Roberto Velez Vallejo, who is the General Manager of the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros mentioned the Agreement: “We are working for a more sustainable coffee, conservation, and forest recovery at the center of our sustainability strategy.”