Equally, as with some other supply chains in emerging markets, low incomes among smallholder coffee growers can mean that they encroach into forest to grow more coffee to increase yields.
We focus on a number of areas to help smallholders mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These include training on Good Agricultural Practices which help to alleviate the environmental stress of higher temperatures. These include activities like mulching, planting shade trees under which the coffee can grow, and planting leguminous trees which increase nitrogen levels and reduce the need for inorganic fertilisers.
We work with partners in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Peru. We are supporting a reforestation project in the Sunda Hejo region aimed at preserving the Indonesian forest while generating a stable income for farmers. Over 1,000 smallholders cultivate small forest plots of about 2 hectares each, planting more than 100,000 trees over 2 years (30,000 currently planted).
In Vietnam, we support more than 1,200 farmers to achieve long-term profitability of coffee production through the promotion of climate change resilient production systems and diversification of farmers’ incomes. In Peru, the establishment of at least 30,000 native forest species will provide 40% of shade coverage for coffee crops, stabilising the soil, and minimising the impact of climate.
Olam certified volumes, such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Organic, and 4C, follow the rigorous environmental policies and sustainable farm management. Moreover, we have rolled out the Olam Supplier Code to the majority of our suppliers, which includes compliance with national and local environmental regulations.
Olam has become an active member of the Global Coffee Platform (GCP), which is the leading facilitator of the coffee sector’s journey towards sustainability. After listening to producers, governments, NGOs, and stakeholders in the coffee value chain, GCP identified 3 critical threats to the coffee sector: Economic Viability of Farming, Climate Smart Agriculture, and Gender and Youth. Each area is addressed through a Collective Action Network. For instance, Climate Smart Agriculture facilitates, aligns, and drives industry’s actions to improve climate smart farming thus adapting and building more resilient communities. For more information about this multi-stakeholder approach visit https://www.globalcoffeeplatform.org/.
We always welcome questions on our sustainability initiatives; for more information. You can email us at Coffee.CRS@olamnet.com.