Climate change is a serious threat to coffee production and the livelihoods of farmers. Computer models suggest that by 2050 40-60% of coffee growing areas may no longer be suitable for its cultivation if no measures are taken.

Changes in temperature and precipitation together with extreme weather events directly impact coffee quality and yields at all stages – by bringing new diseases and pests, by affecting the flowering, harvesting and drying. Smallholder farming families are the most vulnerable to this development due to their high dependency on natural resources and limited capacity to cope with climate variability. HRNS experts are working on actual solutions that allow farmers to steer safely through the new reality of distorted climate.

The initiative for coffee&climate (c&c)

Since climatic factors vary drastically from region to region, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to climate change, in 2010 key players from private, development, and research sectors joined forces to address challenges posed to the entire coffee value chain by changing climatic conditions. The initiative for coffee&climate (c&c) was founded as a development partnership with the vision to enable all coffee-farming families worldwide to effectively respond to climate change.

Our mission is to support coffee farmers worldwide by combining state-of-the-art climate change science and proven farming methods, offering suitable hands-on tools, forming a network of all relevant stakeholders in the field, and applying a pre-competitive approach including the entire value chain.

The c&c approach

The initiative has developed a risk-based approach, which, in the absence of hard measured evidence, analyzes farmers’ specific local context and identifies potential adaptation practices to address the major climate-related challenges they face. In this way, the c&c approach provides a systematic, comprehensive and practical way of addressing changing climatic conditions while also building adaptation and mitigation strategies (c&c toolbox) in the field through a continuous learning process.

Sustainable coffee production and productivity go hand in hand. Sustainably grown coffee helps farmers increase their climate resilience, contributes to carbon mitigation, conserves biodiversity and stabilizes ecosystems while also helping farmers stabilize and improve their income and livelihood.

The c&c in Vietnam

HRNS Asia-Pacific team has been monitoring the weather patterns and their impact on coffee plants in Vietnam. One of the results of this long committed work is a special chapter about climate change in the GAP manual, that was published in English and Vietnamese and supplied to over 60000 farmers in Central Highlands.

Based on the findings of baseline research 800 farmers were trained on adaptation tools such as irrigation, fertilization, pest and disease control and intercropping. Implementing those tools is proven to be an effective safety measure for farmers against unpredictable weather patterns. Apart from working directly with smallholders, HRNS organizes training of trainers program for experienced farmers, extension officers, traders and roasters both locally and internationally.

Al of the above together with careful historic study of climate trends and its correlation with the land use aims to contribute to the developing of a national c&c strategy for Vietnam. HRNS published policy briefs and policy papers for decision makers, and organizes workshops on climate change with regard of coffee industry at all levels to align the findings of various institutions and work out a collective approach to climate change securing the whole coffee production value chain and involving all its players.