SNV becomes a partner in the Sustainable Coffee Challenge

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In May 2020, SNV accepted The Challenge’s mission to make coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural project and joins 125 partners including corporations, governments, NGOs and research organizations.

Through our Café-REDD+ project in Viet Nam, SNV is supporting coffee farmers and companies to adopt more sustainable and resilient farming practices, supporting the restoration and conservation of surrounding forest landscapes. The objective of the project is to reduce deforestation and forest degradation and promote forest landscape restoration, in one of Vietnam’s most important forested landscapes. The Lang Biang Biosphere Reserve comprises a National Park and its buffer zone, within which is one of Viet Nam’s few arabica producing regions.

Unfortunately, the combination of unsustainable farming practices, encroachment by agriculture into forests, and unplanned and illegal building on agricultural land, threatens the ecosystem and local livelihoods. Given the predominance of coffee farming in the area, and the unique opportunities to coffee production here, the government’s vision is to maximise the value of coffee to people and the landscape by strengthening the market for high quality and deforestation-free coffee from the area.

Nam, the Café-REDD project manager, said “joining the Sustainable Coffee Challenge is a chance to share our work, contribute to momentum in the industry, and showcase the companies, public agencies and farmers who are making our project a success. Our team has already participated in the recent webinar series, and as our project progresses we will actively contribute to sharing knowledge and building skills of all the other partners”.

SNV is already working towards the four collective goals, in the following way:

1. Scaling up sustainable coffee sourcing: SNV is a leader in implementing Inclusive Business practices, supporting better linkages between coffee companies and producers. We are facilitating the development of 25 farmer organisations through the project area and training companies in how to manage and support these organisations.

2. Farm renovation and rehabilitation: SNV is supporting local farmers to adopt more sustainable management practise on 1,500 ha of coffee and to codify these practices in partnership with the National Government in a new National Sustainability Curriculum for Arabica. We are supporting more than 800 households to replace diseased trees or those damaged by climate shocks.

3. Labour conditions and supply: Harmful input use is high profile issues in Viet Nam’s coffee sector, and through our farmer training and relationships with government agencies SNV is continuing to support the eradication of chemicals that harmful to farmers such as glyphosate.

4. Coffee and Forest Mapping and Monitoring: The project has combined a number of innovative technologies to map the agricultural and forest area. Drones, in combination with ground-truthing, have been used to create the first comprehensive database of coffee farms in the landscape. Combining this data with ‘near-real-time monitoring’ (from CIAT’s terra-i) in Global Forest Watch pro has created a farm and forest database that can be used by forest enforcement agencies and coffee buying companies alike to identify at-risk farmers. The project is working with all stakeholders to understand and respond to the data effectively.

Learn more about Café-REDD project.