2 Jun 2021
Stronger together - New Climate Academy guide makes insights available to coffee farmers beyond Fairtrade
Climate change is everyone’s business. Our new public guide, based on the experience of 8,500 farmers across three years, brings an opportunity for even more farmers to drive efforts towards climate resilience.
Headlines about climate change are frequent, yet what often goes unsaid is how it disproportionately affects farmers. Their crops are directly threatened by changing weather patterns and natural disasters, which puts their livelihoods at risk. In the long run this might also mean some beloved products, such as coffee, will get harder to find on the shelves.
As part of tackling the climate crisis, switching towards more sustainable ways of production becomes an imperative. However, it would not be fair for farmers to burden all the costs of doing so when considering they often still struggle to earn a living income. There is no climate justice without social justice.
As people who enjoy their products, or sell them, we all have a responsibility towards them. At Fairtrade we have developed the climate academy to support them in this journey.
From awareness to action: The Climate Academy
Founded three years ago, Fairtrade’s Climate Academy in Africa is an extensive program with the objective of making coffee farmers more resilient to changing weather conditions. Taking place in two regions across Kenya it aims to:
- Raise awareness on climate change and its causes: Dozens of sessions were organized to give farmers a comprehensive picture and a better grip on their business operations.
- Adapt agricultural methods: The academy supports farmers adjust their current agricultural practices towards more sustainable ones.
- Highlight the importance of diversification: Each cooperative set up greenhouses to get familiar with the cultivation of various fruits and vegetables to avoid relying heavily on one commodity.
- Alternative energy sources: Support for day-to-day changes such as more energy efficient cooking appliances with the use coffee briquettes, or having solar panels for the use for radio, mobile phone charging and light.
New Climate Guide: reaping the benefits beyond Kenya
Based on what we learned and experienced, Fairtrade has co-created a guide applicable to coffee producers beyond this region. Climate change is everyone’s business and, leading to World Environment Day, we are happy to share our insights with the coffee industry across the world, whether they are part of Fairtrade or not.
In the guide you will find practical information to:
- Evaluate changing weather patterns affecting the farm location
- Learn how to conduct environmental risk and opportunity assessments
- Identify the extent to which you are exposed to the effects of climate change
- Determine the most effective approaches to mitigate the impact of your actions
- Learn from best practices when it comes to soil and water management, waste management, energy use, coffee tree management and on-farm forestry.
Fairtrade Africa developed the Climate Academy Guide with the support of Fairtrade Netherlands, the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the expert input of Coffee Research Institute