An innovative project in Vietnam, led by UTZ Certified and in joint effort with the DE Foundation is helping coffee farmers adapt to a changing climate and protect future coffee supplies. Coffee Climate Care (C3), is testing out new so-lutions on smallholder farms that are increasingly suffering from the impacts of climate change Already it has produced some exciting results and the findings will be shared with UTZ Certified farmers around the world.
Vietnam is the world’s larg-est producer of Robusta coffee and the second largest supplier of UTZ Certified coffee. The effects of climate change, such as rising temperatures, pro-longed droughts and heavier rainfall during the wet season, all impact on the quality and quantity of yields and put the livelihoods of thousands of small-holder coffee farmers across Vietnam at risk.
The first phase of the C3 project has involved research among 1250 farmers, connected to coffee trad-ers Dakman (Volcafé) and ACOM (part of ECOM group). Data has been gathered on the impacts of climate change and based on the findings farmers have tested out new approaches to reduce the negative impact of the specific cli-matic changes in Vietnam. For ex-ample, farmers started to plant avocado trees on their farms. These create shade that keeps coffee plants cooler, while their roots help prevent soil erosion and the avocados can be sold to create a secondary source of income. The project is also looking at how to reduce carbon emissions from coffee production for example those associated with the use of chemical fertilizers. Findings from the project, which is supported by the Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) will be shared with UTZ certified farm-ers around the world through new training materials and updates to the UTZ Certified Code of Conduct.
Don Jansen, Program Manager at the DE Foundation said, “Since 2001, we have seen rain-fall patterns become more er-ratic in Vietnam and in combina-tion with expected temperature increases, we may see drastic effects on coffee production. Innovative adaptation strategies are fundamental for the future of coffee producers in Vietnam and the C3 project will contrib-ute to their development.”
Serge Mantienne, Sustainability Manager at ACOM said, “Our focus at ACOM is to train our field staff and their managers to work directly with farmers and to help train them with good agricultural and sustainability practices. Therefore the Coffee Climate Care project with UTZ Certified is a great opportunity to achieve our goals in Vi-etnam.”