CBI tackles challenges in the coffee sector

On Monday 17 June 2019 CBI organised a coffee sector expert day at coffee roaster Capriole Café in The Hague. Six experts in the coffee sector and six CBI programme managers, involved in CBI coffee programmes in Latin America and Africa, came together. The goal was to find ways how CBI can tackle current challenges, trends and focus points of the coffee sector in her coffee projects.

The following issues were central:

  1. Coops
  2. Climate and climate change
  3. Digitalization
  4. Eastern Europe as an import region
  5. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) & gender
  6. Direct trading

Presentations about these topics were prepared by the experts. The participants split up in different working groups to discuss CBI’s experience and best practices. The groups created advices for CBI on steps to take per subject and how to include these in CBI coffee projects.

Furthermore a CBI coffee project that contribute to the strengthening of competitive export capacities and CSR performance of Central American SMEs was presented. CBI Programme Manager Lisanne van Beek explained that aspects like direct trade, cooperatives and CSR & gender play a main role. For example, mainly in Honduras and Guatemala there are many intermediaries. This causes a lack of transparency in the coffee prices.

One of the more striking conclusions was on the topic ‘Climate and climate change’.  Major changes in rain fall patterns, temperatures, storms and the sustainability of land to grow coffee are a result of climate change. In 20-50 years, some areas will not be suitable for growing coffee anymore. Fortunately, there is a lot of research and knowledge available on best practices with ‘no cost actions’ in sustainable farming and countering climate change as a farmer. However, not all of this information is centrally archived and available for these farmers. CBI will explore the option to prepare an accessible market study with an overview of workable climate change solutions so we can offer farmers actions and concrete solutions.

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