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climate academy helps coffee farmers in the fight against climate change

News – 10 September 2018

A world without coffee? "That isn't possible?", we hear you thinking. Unfortunately, this is indeed a possibility. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges for coffee farmers. Because the coffee plant is extremely sensitive to temperature fluctuations, its production is at risk.

Coffee crops deteriorate due to the unpredictability of, among other things, the climate. Due to frost, hurricanes, floods and the like, some 25 million farmers can see their income fall back by 90% in the coming 15 years. Poverty is high among small coffee farmers in developing countries. For them, climate change is a big challenge.

The Climate Academy
Without strong action to reduce CO₂ emissions, the area for coffee production in 2050 is expected to decrease by 50 percent. This means that coffee can become a scarce commodity in the coming decades.

This is why Fairtrade The Netherlands or Max Havelaar started the Fairtrade Climate Academy last year, thanks to a contribution from the Dutch Postcode Lottery. The Climate Academy helps farmers not only to adapt their production methods, but also examines new sources of income. By sharing and applying insights, skills and techniques locally, that make the consequences of climate change more manageable for the farmers, they learn from each other and from experts.

The first Climate Academy was a big success in Kenya, so it's time to scale up. Last summer the second Academy started in cooperation with FairClimateFund in Oromia, Ethiopia. In order to make the coffee farmers of Oromia more resilient to the effects of climate change, efforts are being made to strengthen the local capacity, to make the transition to sustainable energy and, of course, to stimulate sustainable production methods.

Cleaner cookstoves
The switch to sustainable energy sources is an important pillar of the Climate Academy. FairClimateFund plays a major role here. In cooperation with FairClimateFund, approximately 500 coffee farmers have access to cleaner cookstoves that reduce wood use and CO₂ emissions by 40%. As a result, farmers are less dependent on firewood as the primary energy source. This is good for forest conservation. The social conditions of the farmers and their family members are also improving considerably. The cookstoves have a positive impact especially on women. Imagine what a difference it makes when you no longer have to collect wood for hours. Due to the time savings, there will be room for other activities that earn money. In addition, the new energy source promotes the safety and health of family members. Especially women and children, because they no longer come into contact with the open fire and the very harmful smoke that comes from it.

Everybody can help
A fair price is necessary for farmers to deal with climate change. This allows them to adapt to the consequences of changing weather conditions. By choosing Fairtrade you support this process every time you drink a cup of coffee. To bring this to the attention, Max Havelaar has launched a limited edition coffee together with Peeze: Coffee to Stay. The 100% Fairtrade coffee is directly purchased from the farmers who participate in the first Climate Academy.

By buying the coffee, you support our farmers! Order your coffee quickly and together we make Coffee to Stay! from coffee to go. See for further information www.coffeetostay.nl.

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